Peter Cook equates his inspirations to a child’s favorite toys, stressing the need to have fun, remain curious, and strive to be “usefully daft.” he compares musical notation to architectural drawing. He discusses Las Vegas as an adult playground. He characterizes Toyo Ito as another architect to continues to play with architecture. Cook discusses architecture as “other than as a solid object.” He describes the intentions of architecture and certain ingredients that make it more socially responsible than other forms of art. Cook discusses Japanese history and culture. Cook maintains that one of the most important aspects of architecture is the ongoing global conversation about it. He lays down as a rule that the most important thing an architect can do is hang out with “the right people.” Cook talks about competition that promotes discovery instead of hindering progress. Cook describes how he continues to look for innovative ways of deploying architecture. Cook contrasts places that seek out stimulation, and places that avoid it. He notes how the terms “weird” and “strange” are appropriate definitions of schools like the Bartlett and SCI-Arc.
Video Archive | Peter Cook (16)
Sir Peter Cook describes his talk as a the first of three related lectures. While acknowledging the attractive simplicity of dogmatic rules, Cook argues instead for the idiosyncratic, the irregular, and deviations. Cook describes the leftover infrastructure of urban environments as layered relics of past organizational systems. Cook stresses the importance of clearly communicating ones intentions through innovative detailing and construction methods. Cook stresses simplicity, style, and similarity, illustrating them with an entry in a tower competition. Cook concludes with a discussion of some ongoing projects in his office, including educational buildings in Vienna and Australia, relating their design to some of the qualities he has been discussing.
Yael Reisner discusses her book Architecture and Beauty: Conversations with Architects about a Troubled Relationship, and briefly introduces panelists Hernan Diaz Alonso, Frank O. Gehry, Greg Lynn, Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss, and Sir Peter Cook. They discuss the Patrik Schumacher lecture two days earlier, in which argued that parametric design was the “new unified, epochal style for the 21st century.” The panelists debate whether beauty is essential to architecture or not, highlighting their different attitudes toward visual culture and self-expression.
Eric Owen Moss engages the participants in “London Eight” to discuss the exhibit and their work. Peter Cook explains that he invited five architects who teach at the Bartlett to exhibit. Each architect was additionally asked to select a prot?g? who they had mentored at the Bartlett to exhibit alongside them. The pairings consisted of architects Marjan Colletti & Marcos Cruz with prot?g? Yusef Al-Mehdari; architect CJ Lim with prot?g? Pascal Bronner; architects Mark Smout & Laura Allen with prot?g? Johan Hybschmann. The discussion touches on digital design, pedagogy, “indulgent” formal objects and drawing.
Anthony Vidler moderates a panel discussion with architects Hitoshi Abe, Peter Cook, Eric Own Moss, Thom Mayne, Peter Noever, and Wolf Prix. The panelist participated in a competition for a new campus for the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Vidler talks with the panelists about architectural dreams, language and perception, and the influence of location. Drawing a connection between Los Angeles and Vienna, Thom Mayne states that ideas and dialogue can make places, “placeless.”
Peter Cook describes a photograph of Gunnar Asplund’s Paradise Cafe as the origin of his ambition to become a modern architect, and also the origin of his interest in architecture that combines hard (glass, steel) and soft (fabric, flora). He discusses projects from Plug-In City (1964) through the Kunsthaus, Graz (2003), and the buildings for the Vienna University of Economics and Business (2014) in terms of the contrast between hard and soft. Cook describes several recent large scale urban projects, and responds to audience comments about drawing. He admits that architecture might not really be the best venue for his explorations, but intends to continue using humor to keep architecture from being “hijacked by tedious people.”
Michael Rotondi introduces Peter Cook, who discusses his current work in the context of his work with Archigram. Cook touches on the usefulness of silliness, the cyclical nature of life and architecture, and the importance of atmosphere as equal to, or greater than, most other architectural concerns. He illustrates his points by presenting a combination of his own work, including the Kunsthaus Graz (under construction), and projects by others linked to his own interests.
Peter Cook begins by discussing his fascination with apparent randomness, and how it is achieved through an alternative sense of order. He stresses the importance of inspiration from non-architectural objects, such as music and landscape, and in his own work, and how this translates into an ordered architectural communication through drawing. Topics include Archigram, his Shadow House, Veg Village, Plug-In City, residential projects in Berlin and Moscow, his own residence, and the research project Super Houston.