Voyage Phoenix interviewed the man behind Pillar Design Studios.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Brad Siedlecki.
Brad, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My passion for Skateboarding began at an early age. We had no public skateparks at the time in Upstate New York, where I grew up, so we had to build everything we wanted to skate. It wasn’t until attending college at Arizona State University that I could turn my lifestyle into a career. While pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture I continually pushed the envelope looking beyond the typical park planning format and introduced a non-traditional approach when developing park systems. Needless to say, I wasn’t particularity liked by some of my professors. I was told that skateboarding does not and will not belong in the world of public spaces…since I have returned back as a guest speaker for Skateparks.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the biggest challenges has been the perception of Skateboarding and who skateboarders are. It has taken a decade or two, but people are finally seeing skateboarding as it is – a great recreational activity that provides an option for those not into traditional sports. The other major hurdle is truly a lack of understanding and knowledge of Skateparks as a whole and the skatepark design/construction process. There is a major difference between a Skatepark that is properly designed and built by skateboarders for skateboarders, and skateparks that are selected from a catalog like a playground. The success of a Skatepark is determined by the initial planning stages and the people you get involved.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Pillar design studios – what should we know?
We are an Action Sports Development Firm that specializes in Skate, BMX, Pump Track and Moto parks. Our business is to create custom, high-quality facilities that truly adhere to the unique needs of each community, including their culture and values. We want to share our knowledge and expertise, not only as leading designers in this industry, but also as avid Action Sports Enthusiasts.
We love what we do, and it is evident in our work. We are proud of the fact that after 12 years we have never duplicated a design. Each park is designed to be site specific and custom to the users and clients requests. I have been in this industry for almost 20 years beginning on the ground floor and have helped create the standards used today.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our business is unique as we typically have two “clients”, the municipality and the end users. Balancing the needs of both, while creating a quality product has been the key to our success. We pride ourselves in employing highly skilled project managers who ask the right questions and are knowledgeable of both design and construction.
The bottom line to our success is truly based on the quality of our team and the people we work with…I am lucky to have had the opportunity to build a company that allows me to work with those I consider friends and provides all the opportunity to be creative and do what they love.