Exhibiting minimalism: John Pawson

British architect John Pawson is either very lucky, or very well connected, to have his first solo exhibition at London’s Design Museum while he is still practicing his craft. John Pawson: Plain Space celebrates the master of minimalism’s career from the early 1980’s to the present day through a series of photographs, correspondence and architectural drawings and models.

Starting with an insider’s view of Pawson’s practice in King’s Cross, visitors are slowly led through to an impressively long table showing a series of models of unrealised projects and interesting snipets of conversation between architect and client.

Most intriguing is Pawson’s correspondence with the designer Karl Lagerfeld, where the German-born fashion minimalist amusingly questions Pawson’s idea of a tennis court surrounded by a hedge, for his home in the south of France. Sadly, this collaboration was never realised.


A large 1:20 scale model of John Pawson’s pioneering north London home shows how lacking in impact the smaller models are, with large photographs of the space giving a real sense of how his minimalist vision translates in real life.


John Pawson: Plain Space is on until 30 January 2010 at the Design Museum in London.

Guest blogger Andrea Klettner
Follow her blog I love Council Housing.

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