Sir Peter Cook blasts 'boring' contemporary architecture

There’s a conspiracy of boring, which is all about drawing attention to limitations. It terrorises people into saying ‘we can’t do this or that, because it’ll be breaking the rules’. But we can break the rules, if we want to
– Sir Peter Cook

British architect and academic Sir Peter Cook has blasted the “conspiracy of boring” he believes is preventing the creation of interesting and risk-taking contemporary buildings.

In a passionate address delivered at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin earlier this month, the founder of avant-garde collective Archigram bemoaned the “lack of imagination” stifling the industry.

“I believe there are some architects, even in this room, who really prefer it if buildings went away,” he said. “They're so cool, so calm, so straight that they really don't want to have any [different] stuff at all.

“There’s a conspiracy of boring, which is all about drawing attention to limitations. It terrorises people into saying ‘we can’t do this or that, because it’ll be breaking the rules’. But we can break the rules, if we wanted to.

“In the Archigram days we were very optimistic. We had lots of stupid ideas, but there was delight and strange interplays. For goodness sake, let’s not retreat into a world of black and white. Let’s enjoy a pink world, a yellow world, a colourful world.”

Cook showcased some examples of “interesting” work, including a house built in an old water tower and this year’s Serpentine Pavilion by Bjarke Ingels. He urged architects to “relish chaos,” “continue to experiment,” “make use of technologies we only half understand” and “cheer on the talented and bold whoever they might be.”

At the end of the discussion, during which Cook shared a stage with Austrian architect Wolf Prix – who delivered his own honest assessment of the state of the industry – Cook said he is “optimistic the world will get bored of being boring.”

Sir Peter Cook  Archigram  architecture  design  World Architecture Festival  Wolf Prix 
British architect and academic Sir Peter Cook has blasted the “conspiracy of boring” he believes is preventing the creation of interesting and risk-taking contemporary buildings. In a passionate address delivered at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin earlier this month, the founder of avant-garde collective Archigram bemoaned the “lack of imagination” stifling the industry. “I believe there are some architects, even in this room, who really prefer it if buildings
CLD,ARC,DES,PHR
Sir Peter Cook wants architects to take more risks / Toby Barnes
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6945     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6945     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: GOCO Hospitality
The specialists in designing, developing and operating spa and wellness spaces.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The Battersea Power Station site is currently being redeveloped
"Infrastructure is the manifestation of our collective investment in the functioning of our urban places"

FromLA'sRiver Projectto thetransformationof NewYork’s Erie CanalBuro Happold'sAliceShay explores some of the world's mostinnovativeadaptivereuseprojects

The Volcano at Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark
Ole Barslund Nielsen founded Monstrum in 2003 with Christian Jensen. The two met when working in theatre scenography
"Failing and falling can be a good thing"

How his background in theatre set design inspired Ole Barslund Nielsen to create playgrounds with a difference

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The architectural concept was inspired by the desert rose
Jean Nouvel Architect
"It has spaces inside that exist nowhere else"

On the National Museum of Qatar

OceanReef’s Nemo’s Garden underwater farming concept
"The Norwegian coast inhabits such beauty"

The world’s most ambitious underwater buildings

The site has been designed to create a wind tunnel to ventilate the library’s open air spaces
"Like other cultural institutions, libraries provide something that the internet cannot: genuine human interaction"

How excitingnewprojects arechanging theface oflibrarydesign

features
Dror Benshetrit and Di-Ann Eisnor will head up the team
"We will work to fuse nature, design, technology, and community in our cities in order to measurably improve the lives of citizens"

High profile design hirings for the We Company

A large mural behind the bar acts as a focal point for the room
Fu has a masters in architecture from Cambridge University
"I wanted to go deeper than the stereotypical concept of lanterns, junks and temples"

Drawing on his childhood memories for the St Regis Hong Kong

featured supplier
Featured Supplier: Crown overhaul changing rooms at Saunton Sands spa
Saunton Sands Hotel in Devon, UK, has completed a £2m expansion of its spa and wellness facilities.
cladkit product news
Baux creates plant-based acoustic panels
Baux has worked with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology to create Baux Acoustic Pulp, a plant-derived acoustic solution
Lauren Heath-Jones
Baux, an acoustic products brand based in Sweden, has developed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, using a plant-based material ...
BD Barcelona Design reveals Cristallo by the late Alessandro Mendini
Cristallo was the last design from acclaimed designer and architect Alessandro Mendini
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design Studio BD Barcelona Design has released Cristallo, a limited-edition cabinet designed by the late architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, ...
Tom Dixon Studio to relaunch iconic Pylon chair
Pylon was first designed more than 20 years ago
Lauren Heath-Jones
Originally conceived in his metal workshop in the early 90's, the Pylon chair was Dixon's attempt to create the world's ...
cladkit product news
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
Alusid's Sequel collection combines craftsmanship and sustainability says founder
The Sequel collection is billed as the 'most waste-efficient and sustainable' on the market
Lauren Heath-Jones
Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces, has partnered with Parkside to launch the Sequel range, the brand's first collection of ...
cladkit product news
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
Paul Kelley pushes 'technical boundaries' with modular furniture cube system
The system is designed to enable users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, where they are in complete control of the design and function of their furniture
Lauren Heath-Jones
British designer Paul Kelley has created a modular magnetic cube furniture system that enables users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, ...
Mater partners with Ditzel family to create eco-friendly furniture using reclaimed plastic
The furniture uses plastic from recycled fishing nets
Lauren Heath-Jones
Mater, an ethical design brand based in Denmark, has launched a furniture collection made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean. ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates