Spectrum

A surprising colour pictures collection for the architect known for his rigorous minimalism.

John Pawson’s second photographic book, Spectrum, comprises a chromatically ordered sequence of 320 images, shot on a digital camera, bookended by a snow-white cloudscape in Japan and a jet-black night sky in Marfa, Texas. Alongside its core exploration of colour, Spectrum offers a detailed archive of references for pattern, texture, form and spatial arrangement, drawn from a wide variety of locations.

Published by Phaidon, the book reflects the continuing importance of photography as a design tool in Pawson’s daily work. The majority of the photographs are tight close-ups or details, and printed in a square format, allowing for a single saturated colour to define the page.

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.

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