John Pawson was born in 1949 in Halifax, Yorkshire. After a period in the family textile business he lived for a number of years in Japan, where he met the architect and designer Shiro Kuramata. Following his return to England, he enrolled at the Architecture Association in London, leaving to establish his own practice in 1981. Pawson's work spans a wide range of scales and typologies, from a bridge across a lake and a flagship store for Calvin Klein, to ballet sets, yacht interiors, a new Cistercian monastery in Bohemia and houses in Europe, the US and Asia. He is currently working on the remodelling of the former Commonwealth Institute in London, scheduled to open as a new permanent home for the Design Museum in 2016.