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Paper architecture, but lightweight ideas

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Last night (Tuesday 15 June) I attended Professor Peter Cook's lecture at riba hq. Not for many years have I come out from a lecture in such bad humour. If ever a person has lived off a reputation gained some 30 years before, then it is Peter Cook.

Granted, what he and his compatriots achieved in the mid to late 1960s was 'radical' and perhaps should be recog- nised thus. However, there is only so much one-dimensional, conceited tripe that can be espoused before the dog and his maker need meet.

What grates is the way Cook's incredible ideas (for they are fantastical) have the sociocultural weight commensurate with the paper on which they are drawn. Paper is his material, his surface, and a building of surfaces is what he would love

to do, he informed us.

Cook remains a teacher who has the power and influence to inseminate his adoring acolytes with insidious 'ideas'. From the massed Bartletted ranks in front of the dais last night, some sort of objectivised message is still, obviously, being consumed.

Neil Isles, London

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