Travel the World with John Pawson, the King of Minimalism newsusface

There are bold-faced names in the world of design, adn then there’s a level above that–the bold-faced names that other bold-faced names turn to. Such is the status of John Pawson, the self-taught architectural designer who has created works for some of the most famous people in the world. Now, a new monograph from Phaidon, John Pawson: Making Life Simpler, dives into the talented man’s vision and work. It is the latest for our series on gorgeous new coffee table books, Just Booked.

It’s in the title, but Pawson today is synonymous with simplicity. (We must admit, however, we’re partial to author Deyan Sudjic’s delightful phrase “sensuous austerity”.) But that’s grossly understating what Pawson often achieve with his designs that encompass not only the building, but how the people inside it live. The book does an excellent job showcasing his clever ways for creating space–shadow gaps that extended a space, benches that removed a natural tendency to clutter, and so on. If you’ve ever wondered when and why high-end clothing stores so often look like sleek art galleries, you might just find out while flipping through.

The book is equal parts biography and photography. Pawson’s personal life is discussed, as is the course of his unusual career path. The book isn’t an instruction manual, but it is instructive. A reader browsing its pages comes to understand how Pawson’s path took the shape it did. Perhaps, for the young, idiosyncratic creative, it offers the possibility of inspiration for forging their own.

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