The former head of De Montfort University’s department of 3D Design has died at the age of 69 after a short illness.
Professor John Cook joined the university in 1969, after graduating from the prestigious Royal College of Art.
He shared his passion for glassmaking with students in lecture theatres and workshops all over the world, helping to give the university an international reputation for glassmaking, which was augmented by his roles as external examiner at various prominent institutions and at the Council for National Academic Awards.
In 1993, he was honoured when he was asked to create a gift for the Queen.
The glass piece he made, with his wife Liz Lowe, was presented to Her Majesty when she opened the university’s Queen’s Building.
In 1997, he was appointed head of 3D design – a role he conscientiously fulfilled until his retirement in 2001.
Dr Gerard Moran, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Art & Design, worked with Professor Cook for a number of years and has fond memories of his former colleague.
“John was a highly creative man who was passionate about – and committed to – craft and design,” he said.
“He shared his passion for glassmaking with our students and staff for more than 30 years in a very generous and warm way.
“As head of 3D design, he was responsible not just for crafts, but also for product design, industrial design and interior design. He brought his passion for art and design into the department, helping to establish it as a centre of design excellence – and for that, we are extremely grateful.”
Peter Ford, professor of design at DMU, added: “John was not just an excellent designer – whose work was highly regarded by the UK Crafts Council – he was also a real character, who was much loved by both staff and students.”
John is survived by his wife, Liz Lowe.
The university plans to commemorate John’s memory by purchasing a piece of glasswork in his name. The piece – which will be known as The John Cook Purchase Award – will be chosen from work created by final year design crafts students and added to DMU’s art collection.
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