Snapshots Along The Spectrum


Interview w/ Architect John Pawson

Published On: 03/01/2018

A few months ago we were given the unique opportunity to interview minimalist architectural genius, John Pawson for Issue 28 of The Essential Journal

Aside from being a world-renowned architect, John is also a creditable photographer and on a good day can take up to 500 photographs. Before the digital era began, John was taking 3 or 4 rolls of film per day, costing him a fortune in developing. Now in the digital era, his style remains the same - carefully placed imagery with meticulous detail and value that most reserve for film.  Whether it be digital or analog, nothing is ever deleted, everything is archived. The architect looks to photographs as a source of inspiration, like a colossal reference library. 

                                                                                        John at his London Studio, October 2017

“I have always taken photographs as a tool for the work, sort of inspiration or remembering things, being able to show people something that might inform something we’re doing.”

From the plethora of photographs in John’s library, he was able to narrow them down to a meticulously curated selection for Spectrum, his latest book releaseA chromatically ordered sequence of 320 of his own images, this book offers a vivid account of his eye for pattern, texture, form, space, and light. 

Split into pairs, the book’s square cropped images bring to mind social media guru - Instagram. Speaking of social media, most professionals of this stature have social media managers; however, John runs his own Instagram account. Everyday agonizing over what photo to post next.

“The Instagram is all part of that really. It’s just collecting things that I like and I was amazed that people started following.”

To read more about his latest book and hear more about John’s past and process, check out Issue 28 of The Essential Journal.

This is John Pawson’s second book of photography. His first book “A visual inventory,” was released in 2012  

Photographs of John Pawson by Johnny Nghiem