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on 8 January 2004
Pawson succeeds in insilling strong emotional feelings in the reader through the portayal and description of simple visual images. His outstanding understanding of 'minimum' is amply demonstrated through the use of a diverse range of images many of which are non-architectural. Through this innovative work he manages not only to convey the essense of a complex concept to the student but also provides enough insight to stretch the mind of those who are experieced in the appreciation of minimal images and concepts. A beautiful book that will be savoured by those that wish to enhance their appreciation of 'minimum'.
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on 18 February 1999
if a picture is worth a thousand words this piece speeks volumes. the images are well chosen and beautifully pressented.
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on 29 November 2012
amazon blurb first :
"This work is an essay by the architect John Pawson, both expressing and embodying the ideas of reduction, of simplicity, of austerity, of repetition. The pages reveal stark but beautiful images of architecture and engineering, of ceramics and furniture, of photography and works of art, from many periods and cultures, that all combine to express the idea of simplicity. As the author explains in a brief introduction, these ideas find their expression in art and design, and have their beginnings in the realms of religious and philosophical convictions. The austerity of a Cistercian monastery or the simplicity of a Zen garden are both emanations of the same urge to reduce, to make clear, to unburden. Through a sequence of carefully orchestrated pictures, this book clarifies the way in which this mode of thinking has inspired the work of artists and architects from Ancient Egypt to contemporary Mexico or Japan. Possibly most of all, this text is a work of art in its own right as its design and production values reinforce the ideas of the author".

so the blurb goes.. i'm not convinced at all by the author's rather nebulous loosely defined + chosen elements within this small book of what constitutes "minimum" or simplicity. images in the book of key architectures such as Ando, Mies Van der Rohe etc tick the box certainly, as does Zen gardens + aesthetic. as does minimal architecture, art, design, public spaces but pictures of steps at Versailles, classical designer Palladio ,manhattan grid systems or satellite centre - joderall bank in the uk ? er

11 loosely related "chapters" (that's a collection of fairly random images to you), 278 pages , a minimal index, mixed print quality of images, although a half decent description of key plates/works still make this small phaidon book a miss for me. coffee table book "chic" on a small scale only. a shame.
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on 5 August 2011
If you're into a book of random minimal images this is it. Maybe its my own fault for expecting more. I love the work of Pawson but am yet to find a book which really describes it. If you're looking for one regarding his architecture choose one of the others - the images in this book would be nice framed on the wall but i found the content to be like that of a flick book - extremely minimal!
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