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Architect John Pawson delves into all aspects of minimalism inthis compact (five-by-five-inch) but thick (325-page) format. ReadingMinimum is almost like sitting in a slide lecture given by apassionate professor of pared-down design. It is a picture bookprimarily, and Pawson's choice of images is personal and quirky. Hischapter headings refer to many sources and aspects of design: Mass, Light, Structure, Ritual, Landscape, Order, Containment, Repetition, Volume, Essence, and Expression. The pictures in each section range fromsculptures and paintings to landscapes to ritual objects to rooms tocolonnades and piazzas, cityscapes and private homes. Pawson'sselections are evocative, but not always effective. One caption reads, qThe intense luminescence of Mark Rothko's painting, q but the pictureshown is one of Rothko's late, dark, depressed canvasses, which atthree-by-five-inches seems more a smudge than a glow. Images dominatethis book, but Pawson has also written an ardent introductory essay thatplaces his selections in context. qWhat I look for is the excitement ofempty space, q he writes. qIt has the capacity to bring architecturealive, just as it does a Chinese scroll painting. Emptiness allows us tosee space as it is, to see architecture as it is, preventing it frombeing corrupted, or hidden, by the incidental debris of theparaphernalia of everyday life. It offers the space, both psychologicaland physical, for contemplation, and the serenity that can encouragemeditative quiet and calm, without the jarring distraction ofpossessions.q --Peggy MoormanArchitect John Pawson delves into all aspects of minimalism inthis compact (five-by-five-inch) but thick (325-page) format.

Author:John Pawson
Publisher:Phaidon Press - 2006-04-18


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