On 22nd September 2010 a major exhibition of the work of John Pawson opened at the Design Museum in London. Often labelled a ‘minimalist’, he is known for his rigorous process of design. By reducing and editing he creates architecture and product designs of visual clarity, simplicity and grace. Plain Space celebrates Pawson’s career from the early 1980s to date and includes a selection of landmark commissions including the Sackler Crossing at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the new Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in the Czech Republic and Calvin Klein’s iconic flagship store in New York, as well as current and future projects.
At the heart of the exhibition is a site-specific, full-sized space designed by Pawson to offer a direct and immersive experience of his work. This is the first time the Design Museum has realised a 1:1 scale architectural installation inside the museum.
Using a rich range of media the exhibition will explore projects from Pawson’s career. Specially commissioned, large-scale photography will look at his architecture in the landscape. Actual architectural elements in stone, bronze, wood and metal taken from a range of buildings including the Baron House in Sweden and Pawson’s own house in London will explore his sensitive use of materials. The process of design and construction will also be shown through photography, film, sketches, study models, prototypes and interviews relating to a number of projects including a private home in Treviso, Italy currently under construction. Personal items from the Pawson archive will also be on display including letters from Karl Lagerfeld and the writer Bruce Chatwin.
On the opening day of the Plain Space exhibition John Pawson was interviewed by Crane TV.
The Design Museum shop will stock a selection of exclusive exhibition merchandise, including a limited edition print, postcards and tote bag. The entire collection of Pawson items designed for the Belgian company ‘When Objects Work’ will be available exclusively in the UK at the Design Museum shop. A new book, John Pawson Plain Space, written by Alison Morris, is published by PHAIDON Press to coincide with the opening of the exhibition and will be available at designmusuemshop.com
PlainSpace.co.uk is a new blog which charts the run up to the opening of John Pawson - Plain Space and will continue through the life of the exhibition concluding on its final day on 30 January 2011. Regularly updated with behind the scenes information and comments, the blog offers a unique insight into the exhibition process and journey.