Commissions and Presentations

As the author and photographer behind the work presented on this website, Michael Cook has been asked to make a variety of presentations and prepared commissions. Cook has been a guest critic for architecture studio reviews and an external thesis reader, and has served as a participant and contributor to community planning efforts and charettes. 

Cook can speak to a variety of topics related to urban and underground infrastructure, 'lost' creeks, sewers, watersheds and built and designed landscapes. He has also presented on the historical and contemporary landscape and architecture of electrical power generation, both at Niagara Falls and elsewhere in Southern Ontario. Presentations on this material have been of great interest to courses and programs in architecture, planning, geography, urban and environmental studies, history and civil engineering, as well as to construction trade associations, museums, and to local historical societies and naturalist clubs.

Cook is also available to produce original, commissioned photography of underground infrastructure, infrastructural/industrial landscapes, and demolition sites for corporate communications, education and heritage documentation.

Cook's portfolio also includes photography of mine workings, construction and demolition sites, surface infrastructure, coal-fired and nuclear power stations, and industrial facilities; works that are not currently published on this website.

Please michael [at] vanishingpoint [dot] ca (contact him by e-mail) if you have any questions or inquiries.

Past Commissions

2009. Photography of sites and infrastructure operated by City of Hamilton Water and Wastewater. Commissioned by the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology.

2007. Presentation Boards for "Niagara Falls Power Generating Stations" conference (April 22-23, 2007). Commissioned by ICOMOS Ontario.

Past Lectures, Presentations and Reviews

2012, 2013. Guest Critic. ARC 393 Option Studio: Architectural Instincts and Imagination. University of Waterloo School of Architecture.

2012. Guest Lecturer. "Excavations in the Nature of Toronto." INI 102 Creative Writing and the City. University of Toronto Innis College.

2012. Guest Presenter. "Water Flows Downtown: Finding water around 200 University Avenue." Doors Open Toronto at Cannon Design.

2011, 2012. External Thesis Reader. University of Waterloo School of Architecture.

2011. Guest Lecturer. "Excavating the Past and Present of Wastewater Infrastructure in Toronto." CHL5413H Public Health Sanitation. University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

2010. Guest Lecturer and Critic. "Obscure Infrastructure: Latent tunnels, buried streams, and the origins of today's park-machines." ARC 393 Option Studio: Architectural Instincts and Imagination. University of Waterloo School of Architecture.

2010. Guest Lecturer. "Confluence and Cataract: Exploring the past and present of power generation at Niagara Falls." ARC 1012Y: Site, Building, Tectonics. University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

2009. Guest Lecturer and Critic. "Notes from the Underground: A first-hand introduction to sewer systems as physical and social spaces." ARC 393 Option Studio: Architectural Instincts and Imagination. University of Waterloo School of Architecture.

2008. Lecturer. "Hidden Architectures: Underground infrastructure in the contemporary city." Arriscraft Lecture Series. University of Waterloo School of Architecture.

2008. Guest Lecturer. "Water Underground." ARC2013Y: Culture and the Metropolis. University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

Have a suggestion, question or comment about this article, or anything else on the website? Send an e-mail to the author at michael@vanishingpoint.ca, or use this contact form.

Michael Cook is available to speak to your organization about infrastructure history, lost creeks, current conditions, and opportunities for change in our management of and communication about urban watersheds, and to work with teams proposing or implementing such change. Get in touch.