Making Life Simpler with John Pawson

Our recent film exploring English designer John Pawson’s Cotswolds home begins with him saying, “I prefer things simple”. Such is the premise of his new visual biography written by architectural historian and longtime friend Deyan Sudjic, aptly titled John Pawson: Making Life Simpler

It is the seemingly simple questions that underpin John’s work – questions like ‘What will you see from your bed when you wake in the morning?’, ‘Where will the sun be as you eat breakfast?’ and ‘How will the floor feel as you step out of the shower?’ “Some designers feel hesitant about answering these questions for fear of being seen as frivolous. John does not,” Deyan writes in the book’s introduction.

Making Life Simpler goes beyond just architecture, delving into topics such as John’s school days, his time living in Japan, and his passion for photography. It features anecdotes from famous clients, including fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein, and never-before-seen ephemera and photographs from John’s archives. Written by someone who has known him for more than 40 years, the book is a heartfelt and thoughtful insight into the life and work of one of the world’s most celebrated designers.

Order the book at

PPOW Gallery, New York, 1986; photographed by Michael Mundy.

“One of the reasons why John Pawson’s work continues to resonate beyond the sometimes narrow world of architecture is that he is fascinated as much by what happens inside his buildings as by the buildings themselves.” 


– Deyan Sudjic

Neuendorf House, Frankfurt, 1989; photographed by Marco De Valdivia.

A photograph from John’s personal archives of his office in London in the ’90s.

John Pawson at his Cotswolds home, 2023; photographed by Dan Preston.

John Pawson at his Cotswolds home, 2023; photographed by Dan Preston.

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