Designer · Sculptor
Born 1930, New Jersey
Inspired by 20th - century assemblage artist Joseph Cornell, Rajie (Roger) Cook has turned his talent toward the creation of sculptural assemblage, "Boxes," that speak to the human condition. In a 16 - piece exhibit on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Cook explored his experiences in the Middle East serving on the Task Force for the Middle East, a group sponsored by the Presbyterian Church for 10 years. He met with Jews and Palestinians in a variety of formal and informal settings. He finds that it is difficult to understand the conflict unless you see it firsthand. "There you have two peoples: People in Israel concerned about security, and people not living in freedom. Once that is addressed, you'll see improvements," Cook says.
Remember those ubiquitous man and woman pictographs on restrooms? Or the airport or telephone symbols along the highway? That's the work of Rajie (Roger) Cook. His firm Cook and Shanosky designed those simple wordless images, Symbol Signs, that are now understood around the world. Cook jokes about making a career out of telling people where to go.
His work has garnered many awards, including the prestigious Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1984, and exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.