Mark Cousins has over 35 years’ experience in the architectural profession with a career combining practice (working in Germany and the UK), academia (teaching in Scotland and Australia) and publishing (writing for a variety of magazines and journals).
His work as an architect is characterised by an intense investigation through a protracted series of exploratory drawings, maquette-making and archival research which seeks to develop a contemporary, if nuanced, response to the specific brief. The completed work can vary in scale from substantial commercial buildings and cultural projects to innovative domestic propositions.
He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh’s architecture programme gaining both an MA(hons) and Dip.Arch. Having secured his RIBA Part III qualification, he returned to academia to study at the Glasgow School of Art and completed an MA in Design. He has worked for a number of leading practices (in Edinburgh and Stuttgart) working on a variety of award-winning projects. He has written extensively in the architectural press and also co-ordinated a variety of exhibitions promoting architecture to the wider public including ‘Opening Closes: The Transformation of the North Holyrood Site’ at The Lighthouse, Glasgow (2003).
He was invited recently to join the RIAS Education Committee and is the long-standing Chair of Publications and Reviews Editor for the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS). He has been the recipient of Erasmus grants to undertake research in Singapore (visiting non-hierarchical teaching environments).Stuttgart (looking at the architect’s route to professional status) and Bangkok (documenting the informal architecture of the city’s street food vendors). The latter generated the exhibition ‘Drawing on Bangkok: : mobile architecture and the metropolis’ whichcomprised thirty-one drawings and two photobooks at the m2 Gallery (May - July 2017) in London. A selection of these drawings feature in issue No.30 of Scroope: the Cambridge Architecture Journal.
Recent projects include a residential library project, a commission for the exhibition ‘In Search of the Vernacular’ at the Oriel Myrddin Gallery (July - October 2018) in Carmarthen which then toured to the Thames Side Studios (August 2019). His speculative drawings were selected for the Pan Scroll Zoom initiative (April 2021) by ‘Drawing Matter’ and feature in the inaugural issue of the ‘Architecture LGBT+ Scotland’ zine (August 2021). He was invited to write a reflective feature in Dezeen magazine on the future of the Glasgow School of Art.
As an ESALA Teaching Fellow in Architectural Design, he is Course Organiser for three key courses providing an introduction to practice for 3rd Year students. He is lead tutor for the distance-learning course Design Value + Architecture and also acts as a Design Tutor in the 2nd Year studio, where he contributes to the MA Architectural Design programme. He was presented with the RIAS Scottish Design Tutor Award 2020/21.