The highly sought-after bible of the Minimalist aesthetic.

John Pawson


Price: USD$22.95

This edition is temporarily out of stock



About the book

This extraordinary visual essay explores the notion of 'minimum', a concept that is rooted in the pursuit of simplicity, as applied to architecture, art and design; it is the quality that a building or object possesses when every component, every detail and every junction has been reduced or condensed to its essentials. Now itself condensed, Minimum is available for the first time as a pocket edition.

This book, designed and compiled by the Minimalist architect John Pawson, captures the essential qualities of particular kinds of simplicity. This is illustrated by architecture ranging from prehistoric Mexico and Ancient Egypt to the high Modernism of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe; art from the Dutch School to Donald Judd; the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe and Bill Brandt; and furniture and pottery. With its broad spread across time and a wide geographical area, Minimum seeks to analyse the elements of simplicity and capture them in print.

In The Press
'Thought-provoking book on minimalism.'  (The World of Interiors)

'His critically acclaimed Minimum book, had been redesigned as a portable edition. With its stark, graceful images of architecture, engineering, ceramics and furniture, it endorses the principles of his work as an architect and designer.' (The Times)

'John Pawson’s gorgeous and starkly stylish new book...Sleek and square...a must for all small-is –beautiful coffee tables.' (Evening Standard)

'Another handy source of design inspiration. This appropriately pared down version of John Pawson’s acclaimed 1996 study of minimalism takes readers on a beautifully presented journey round the notion of simplicity – in architecture, art and design.' (Exposure)

'If you can’t get to Hong Kong, but want an insight into the rich variety of sources that have influenced Pawson’s architecture, try his book Minimum, newly re-issued in a miniature hardback version.' (Conde Nast Traveller)

'Immaculately produced by Phaidon, [Minimum] is a small slab of a book (140mm x 160mm square) and a tactile delight on every level. Exactly the sort of style icon that will sit demurely on a coffee table or with ostentatious cool in the chaos of a briefcase.' (The Right Angle)

'There is something very covetable about this new, compact, chunky version of the 1996 bestseller. Truly pared down – its price has shrunk too ( the original cost £60) – Pawson’s ‘visual essay’ is a selection of images that are sometimes beautifully simple, but also pretentious.' (British Journal of Photography)

'John Pawson’s seminal book Minimum achieved world-wide recognition for provoking interest and exploration into the notion of minimalism. Two years since its original publication this unique guide to simplicity is reprinted in a desirable mini format. This neat, portable book is a visual essay expressing and embodying the ideas of austerity, reduction, and simplicity … The original edition received unprecedented attention and soon sold out. To reprint the book in the usual paperback format did not seem justifiable and with a constant dedication to design, Phaidon decided that the beauty and and quality of the original edition could only be retained in a stylish miniature format … The end result is this small object of desire and simplicity.' (Perspective)
'An elegant and restrained reference work.' (Frame)

'In itself a wonderful object, Minimum is already a collector's item.' (Observer)

'A searching discourse on the appeal of minimalism, an exploration of the author's thoughts on architecture, art and life, accompanied by extraordinary photographs to show the power of minimalism. It is well worth reading.' (Financial Times)

About the author(s)
John Pawson is a renowned architect and designer specializing in the Minimalist aesthetic. He has designed interiors for Calvin Klein, B&B Italia and the Cathay Pacific Lounge at the Hong Kong International Airport. His own work is the subject of two books John Pawson Works and John Pawson Themes and Projects, both published by Phaidon.

Le Corbusier Le Grand
The Modernist House


Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City. Read more
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