John Pawson and Dinesen have collaborated on different scales for more than three decades: on family homes, exhibitions, museums, chapels and furniture


by Alisa Larsen

John Pawson and Dinesen have collaborated on different scales for more than three decades: on family homes, exhibitions, museums, chapels and furniture.

We could not be where we are today without John Pawson. Equally, Dinesen has contributed a new dimension to the architect’s most cerebral work, believing that a material should not be forced onto an idea, but rather encourage the forming of new ideas. Together, we have formulated a stimulating atmosphere of simplicity.

Our story is full of contradictions. The vast, majestic forests of Schwarzwald are far from densely populated neighbourhoods of London. The cool feel of John’s minimal concrete compositions unlike the warm air of the dark wood kiln at our sawmill in Jutland. He loves the beginnings and endings of a project, we thrive between the two. The architect is about the idea yet he is reliant on the tradesman to bring it to life.



In 2024, Dinesen and John Pawson celebrate 30 years of collaboration and learning from one another, of trust and relying on each other. The Danish word umage comes to mind—of effort, of going beyond what is expected or considered possible, normal, reasonable—describing the spirit that the company brings to the architect’s projects.

Since 1992, we have carried on a continuous exchange of ideas and impulses manifested in countless projects. One project turned into a practice. Leaning on each other, we have created a series of unmistakable expressions grounded in an ethos of finding the right material for a project, rather than the common best. For both of us, the answer is found in nature.

It was at the time John built his private home in Notting Hill, 1992, that he found Dinesen. A family company not unlike that of his own predecessors, we then produced conical planks for historical sites: churches, castles, manors. He enticed us to reconsider, just this once. 15 metre boards arrived by truck, their elastic trunks carried through the streets as they warped and wobbled. A marvel for an architect then concerned with pushing the limit, a floor board stretched from the entrance, through the sitting room and all the way to the kitchen—all in one piece.

John’s way with wood allowed us to see our material anew. Spacing between wide floor boards gave depth to the surface, real character. The grain tells a story. Hence, the floor becomes a crucial design element, it brings a sense of direction to a space. He also created a bespoke collection of furniture for the house that brought the material even closer to our eyes and hands. Fascinated by the scale, width, length—opportunity of fashioning a simple, seamless expression in architecture.

We are excited to share the new additions to the original furniture collection John Pawson created with Dinesen for Pawson House in 1992 — the embodiment of a vital, on-going collaboration. Each piece reflects the spirit of umage, of dialogue between designer, material and the maker(s) that put their mark on an object, making decisions that form and elevate it along the way.

Simple objects, with an immense craft put into them. There is a mutual respect—from forest and trunk to material and object—as a design changes hand, a shared imprint that makes every object unique. It is a raw combination of beauty and restraint that challenges the current ideal of perfection, replacing it with tokens of temporality and patina, openness and vulnerability. The result embodies a shared journey, an intimate exploration of wood as a building block, aesthetic, philosophy, and way of living.

We celebrate our shared realm, a collaborative atmosphere we have nurtured alongside each other, one that continues to guide Dinesen’s work with artists, architects and designers all over the world today.