A talented designer, Don arrived in Christchurch with the intention of forming a Southern ‘Group’ with a bunch of fellow Auckland University graduates, including Alan Mitchener. The group disbanded during their first project – a hexagonal house on a Redcliffs hill site – as excavations became difficult and job offers appeared. Don finished the house and went to work with Stewart Minson.
He turned down a partnership with Minson (later accepted by Holger Henning-Hansen) and started his own practice – D A Cowey. Initially he subsisted on “rats and mice” form Minson and Paul Pascoe until he established himself and formed subsequent partnerships Cowey McGregor and Cowey Mills. Don differed in his approach to many of his prominent contemporaries, considering himself a “servant” to the client.
St James Church, Spreydon (1968).