Peter Cook

In the press | designboom

Sir Peter Cook was interviewed by designboom on the occasion of his upcoming exhibition, Cities, at Richard Saltoun Gallery in London. 







designboom (DB): Walk us through the spatial experience of your upcoming Cities exhibition at Richard Saltoun Gallery and how Virtual Reality will come into play. 


Peter Cook (PC): The exhibition is in three rooms. And as you enter at a right angle from the main direction of the gallery, you will be confronted by a sort of full height and width of the room; you can’t actually walk right inside it, but it is something that almost embraces you. And it is derivative of one or two of my fairly recent drawings that explore what can be enclosed in a wall. In this instance, the wall is opened up and fragmented. This is a series of experiments we’re doing with some of my drawings in which the drawing is, to some extent, dismembered and then even integrated with dismembered versions of other drawings. This exhibition is a continuous attempt to extend the vocabulary of my work; I’m always trying to probe an extension of the architectural vocabulary. And I tried to turn this into another vocabulary, a pathway toward the making up of formal enclosures. So I’m trying to see if I’m able to produce things further in that direction until the actual enclosures become the drawing.


Having engaged with that, we then turn to the main axis of the three galleries, where we have one of my most popular drawings, which has a virtual reality version of it; visitors can go ‘inside’ the drawing. So suddenly, the drawing, which was previously static, has some of its elements coming to life: they open up, they drift, then they move through the space. And then there are a series of drawings themselves spanning over quite a long period. We don’t show any large numbers of any particular period; we go back to the 70s and, in one case, through the 80s, the 90s, right up to earlier this year. They’re almost samples of different periods of my work, some involving kind of mysterious conditions such as dreaming up spacious spacelessness. Some look at substance, alternative types of material from which we might make architecture. Some are actually projects for cities. All of them involve an observation of city form, really. The city has been my canvas for a long time. 





For the full interview, please visit the designboom website. 


Cities will be on view 18 July - 16 September, 2023. 

July 8, 2023