Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

8-18-05

Contacts:

Mark Engelbrecht, Dean, College of Design, (515) 294-7427

Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778

ISU College of Design honors Steven and Barbara King with Christian Petersen Award

AMES, Iowa -- Steven and Barbara King, who turned the concept of continuous play into a successful children's play equipment company, are the recipients of the 2005 Christian Petersen Design Award from Iowa State University's College of Design.

The Kings will be honored during the college's annual welcome reception, from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 22, at Iowa State's Reiman Gardens. The award presentation is at 6:45 p.m.

The Christian Petersen Design Award was created in 1980. It is given annually to alumni, staff and friends of the university for contributions to the advancement of design. The award is named for the noted artist who was Iowa State's sculptor-in-residence from 1935 to 1955.

The Kings are being honored for their contributions to safe and innovative design for children.

"The great story behind the Kings' success is the amazing creativity they have exhibited in the conception, realization, and constant improvement of an idea that has benefited so many children and parents throughout the world. Their work together exemplifies total design at its very best," said Mark Engelbrecht, dean of the College of Design.

Steven King, who graduated from ISU in 1968 with a bachelor of landscape architecture degree, co-founded Landscape Structures Inc., Delano, Minn., in 1971, and serves as chairman. The company has designed, manufactured and installed equipment on more than 50,000 playgrounds worldwide.

While a student at Iowa State, Steven King originated the concept of "continuous play," which involves combining traditional playground equipment, such as slides, ladders and climbing equipment, into an endless stream of activities that stimulate a child's physical, social and intellectual capabilities. The concept is used in nearly all of today's playground equipment.

Steven King is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and a member of several industry task forces on playground safety standards. In 1993, he was the only playground equipment manufacturer to be appointed to the Federal Access Board's Recreation Access Advisory Committee. He has authored numerous articles on playground safety and accessibility and presented seminars on the development of safe skate parks.

Barbara King graduated from Iowa State in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in food science. She has served as president of Landscape Structures since co-founding the company in 1971. She is a former president of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and has served on the boards of the Minnesota Safety Council, Minneapolis Community College, Volunteers of America Minnesota, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Landscape Architecture Foundation. She was inducted as an honorary member of the ASLA in 2005.

In 1992, Steven and Barbara King were named Minnesota Entrepreneur of the Year, and received honorable mention for National Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine, Ernst and Young, Inc., and Merrill Lynch. They also were inducted in the National Institute of Entrepreneurs.

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Steven and Barbara King

Steven and Barbara King

Quick look

The College of Design's Christian Petersen Design Award will be presented Monday, Aug. 22 to Steven and Barbara King, who are being honored for their contributions to safe and innovative design for children.

Quote

"The great story behind the Kings' success is the amazing creativity they have exhibited in the conception, realization, and constant improvement of an idea that has benefited so many children and parents throughout the world. Their work together exemplifies total design at its very best."

Mark Engelbrecht, dean of the College of Design