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.