College of Design
Steve King

Steve King

Chairman and Co-Founder, Landscape Structures Inc.

A Legacy of Play

April 2015

Learn about the history of Landscape Structures Inc., the Delano, MN-based playground equipment company that Steve King and his wife, Barb, founded in 1971. You'll hear about the successes and challenges they faced as entrepreneurs, the innovations they discovered, and how Landscape Structures has helped the playground industry evolve while keeping in mind the most important aspect of play—child development across all ages and abilities. Steve will share how his next endeavor is making a full circle back to where he began—designing playgrounds from natural materials.


Landscape Structures Cofounder Steve King, who serves as chairman of the board, is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI), and a founding member and past president of IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association). He is the creator of the "continuous play" concept, the topic of Steve's final thesis in the Landscape Architecture program at Iowa State University, which involves combining traditional playground equipment, such as slides, swings and climbing equipment, into an endless stream of activities that stimulate a child's physical, social and intellectual capabilities.

Steve has been chairman of a task group of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that worked with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to update the ASTM F1487 Specification: a voluntary safety and accessibility standard for public playground equipment designed for children ages 2 to 12. His task group had the added responsibility of developing playground accessibility standards to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). His company, Landscape Structures, was also the first company to develop new playground events specifically meeting ADA requirements.