Globally acclaimed miminalist architect, John Pawson, celebrates colors through 320 inspiring photographs

John Pawson


Price: USD$59.95

Globally acclaimed miminalist architect, John Pawson, celebrates colors through 320 inspiring photographs.

"Pawson is a lot more than just an architect; he's also handy with a camera and has a good eye for what makes a nice picture." —Monocle

Globally acclaimed architectural designer John Pawson takes you on a multi-colored journey across the world through a carefully curated sequence of 320 images. It's a celebration of color from one of the most unexpected sources. His architecture might be known for its limited color palette – primarily white – but his photographs tell another story. Pawson is always taking photographs of patterns, details, textures, and spatial arrangements that often inform his work, which includes the new Design Museum in London and Calvin Klein retail stores.


Format: Hardback
Size: 245 x 210 mm (9 5/8 x 8 1/4 in)
Pages: 352 pp
Illustrations: 320 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714875286

John Pawson's work focuses on ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light, and materials. Over the years, his many residential and commercial interiors have included homes, art galleries and stores in London, Dublin, New York, Paris, Seoul, and Tokyo, and his subsequent projects have spanned a wide range of scales and building typologies, from stage sets and exhibitions to boats and monasteries.

"A book of photography by English architect John Pawson, groups his shots, taken all over the world, by color, creating compelling palettes of disparate images." —WSJ Magazine

"He may be one of our leading architectural designers, but John Pawson has an addiction: photography." —Guardian

"Beautifully handsome and serene [photographs]." —Dazed and Confused

"In contrast to the clean, ascetic refinement of his designs, Pawson's photographs reveal an unexpected taste for texture and vibrancy." —Nowness

"He's known for his clean lines and minimal palette but in John Pawson's new book of photography, the architect reveals he's actually a sucker for colours and the abstract."—Condé Nast Traveller

"As minimalism faces an inevitable backlash [...] now is the perfect time for John Pawson's exceptional new volume... The London-based architect reveals the depth of his skill and craft in this volume covering his captivating and vibrant photographic archive. After his insightful and intellectually astute introduction, dazzling shots from Morocco, Kenya, Japan, Argentina and all over the world give us insight into Pawson's creative process, challenging how we understand the impetus behind his work... The compendium may come as a shock to those expecting a white palette. Bold, brilliant and mesmerising... Captures the same kind of determined detail as his constructed spaces. An interplay of light and shadow, rich tonality and ripe materiality, each image tells its own story – as well as Pawson's. This is a must-have for every architect's library and anyone looking to comprehend a rich complex, compelling notion of this architect's minimalist architectural oeuvre."—Identity Magazine (Dubai)

"John Pawson is not only a creator of sublime spaces such as the Design Museum, but also a skilled shutterbug... Spectrum offers up a journey through his photographic archive, revealing the moments and details that inspire his architectural output."—Evening Standard, ES magazine

"Reveals a much more saturated side of the architect's vision... From an eerie, lavender-colored abstraction of St. Paul's Cathedral in London and the dusty pink symmetry of an Art Deco façade in Miami, Florida, to a misty, bright blue hilltop vista near Chianti, Italy, the photographs are precisely sequenced according to hue. With the whites, beiges and light grays up front, dramatic black captures at the back, and all the bright bits in between, the book diligently covers the full spectrum of color... Offers a vivid account of [Pawson's] eye for pattern, texture and composition, not to mention his deft understanding of light - an element he also explores consistently and astutely in his architectural work."—CNN.com Style

"The images are snapshots from Pawson's travels, from orange stonework to red fabrics, indigo neon lighting to blue skies, green moss to glowing moonlight. Sequenced by colour, there's joy in finding random pairings in terms of the subject matter, allowing the reader to consider them in a new light."—Amuse-i-d.vice.com

"An unexpected ode to colour from a man whose love of white is well-documented."—SomethingCurated.com

"[T]his vibrant collection of 320 photographs celebrates our rainbow-hued world."—Globe Style Advisor (The Globe and Mail)

"There are very few details that escape John Pawson's eye... His visual language zooms in on the almost imperceptible. And in a new publication, Pawson clearly busts the myth that Instagram is for the self-absorbed."—DAMN Magazine (Belgium)

"John Pawson is known the world over for his stunningly minimal designs. So what's he doing publishing colour pictures?... Spectrum, which features 320 images, shot mostly on his iPhone or a digital camera, which have been compiled, as the name suggests, to cover the entire colour spectrum. It was his editor at creative arts publisher Phaidon who first suggested a book on colour, and Pawson was surprised. "My initial reaction was, 'What?' But then looking at my archive of around 500,000 images, we noticed there was a lot of colour, from changing light and nature to texture"... Most of the images in the book are spontaneous moments: a shadow here, a glimpse of nature there. His eye goes for intimate, simple details, rather than grand gestures."—The Observer, The Observer Magazine

"It turns out master of minimalism John Pawson also has a painterly approach to pigment... In the newly released Spectrum, the architect's colour thesis is given the opportunity to explode... It's as if the strict privation of colour that typifies much of Pawson's architecture [...] here gives way to blushing, staining, tinting expression. Not just a sensory fiesta, there's real photographic clout here."—Wallpaper.com

"Evocative and calming, these images provide valuable insight into the subtleties of an architectural vision."—The Lady

"While the images offer an intriguing look into Pawson's diverse visual interests, it is their order that holds the book together—they are arranged in a careful sequence according to color... The result is a chromatic arrangement of images that reflects a very personal view of the world."—Photo District News

"[The] master of minimalism John Pawson [...] reveals his love of colour in a new photography book."—Monocle.com

"He may be one of our leading architectural designers, but John Pawson has an addiction: photography." —Guardian

"Beautifully handsome and serene [photographs]." —Dazed and Confused

John Pawson Works
John Pawson: Plain Space
John Pawson: Visual Inventory Postcards
A Visual Inventory
Ornament is Crime


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.
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