Hernan Diaz Alonso introduces Peter Cook as an architect who tirelessly asks What else could there be? What doesn’t fit? Todd Gannon suggests the audience might turn their attention from Cook’s drawings to his built work, especially the Abedian School of Architecture building at Bond University, Queensland (2014).
Peter Cook surveys the background of his work, from Bournemouth College of Art in the early 1950s, the Architectural Association, through his Plug-In and Instant City drawings.
He reviews his work through categories of different dreams: the Dreams of Metamorphosis, of Slithering, of Melting, of Flying, of Overgrowth, of the Three-Dimensional City, of the Hidey-Hole, covering many projects including the Vienna University of Economics and Business (2014), the Comfo Veg Club installation at the SCI-Arc Gallery (2008), the Vallecas social housing (2011), the Kunsthaus Graz (2003), the School of Architecture building at Bond University (2014), and the Drawing studio for the University of Bournemouth (2016),
Cook describes several themes that appear again and again in his work: bits that hang or protrude on other things, gadgets (citing the British cartoonist W. Heath Robinson (1872-1944), a fascination with the ugly and silly, and delight in color. While disclaiming anything sociological, Cook admits to designing with social scenarios in mind—as in the Vienna and Queensland university buildings. He concludes with challenge to the audience to explain his interest in noses—a pitch for his most recent books.