Tournament in Trafalgar Square brings design to life

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
London Design FestivalA centrepiece of this year’s London Design Festival will be located in the heart of London, in Trafalgar Square. The Tournament, an installation created by Spanish designer Jaime Hayón, will consist of a gigantic chess set, with 2m high ceramic chess pieces on a specially created mosaic glass chess board. The installation, which will be set between the two fountains in Trafalgar Square, will be in situ September 19-23.

Each of the 32 chess pieces are designed and handcrafted by Hayón, working with Bosa, the Italian ceramics experts in Veneto, Italy. Many of the chess pieces will reference specific iconic buildings in London and their domes, towers and spires. Elements of the city of London and its history will be encoded on the pieces using Hayón’s very personal style. Each chess piece will be unique and hand-painted by Hayón himself.

London Design Festival

The chess pieces will be supported by a wooden base on castors so that they can be moved around easily, and there will be a metal frame within the ceramic form to provide stability. The chess board will be made of mosaic glass tiles created by Italian tiling specialists, Bisazza. Rising above the giant tiled chessboard will be elevated platforms where players will sit in large, high-backed chairs directing their pieces around the board. The London Design Festival are actively encouraging the general public to apply to take part in the chess games and come down and play or simply watch and enjoy this community spectacle.

London Design Festival

The Tournament is inspired by London and its history and heritage. The Battle of Trafalgar was organised like a chess game of naval strategy – the notes and images show how carefully it was worked out by Admiral Nelson when the British Navy defeated the combined fleets of the Spanish and French navy.

Jaime Hayón comments:

“I’ve lived in London for over 3 years during which time I have been able to discover the city, its history and heritage. I will be able to represent all of this using my own personal style. I really like the idea that Londoners and other visitors can come to Trafalgar Square – such a central focus of London – to wander around my installation and perhaps even take part in a game of chess.” Ben Evans, Festival Director, comments, “Jaime Hayón brings a fresh energetic perspective to London and his ideas are both dynamic and witty. He was the obvious choice for such a project.”




London Design Festival

London Design Festival

During The Tournament’s installation, members of the English Chess Federation will be playing matches in the morning, and from lunchtime the general public will have the chance to play games for free. From Saturday 1 August to Monday 31 August the public will be invited to apply online through the London Design Festival website To apply, applicants must download the application form from the Festival website, fill it in, and then either email it to play@londondesignfestival.com or return it by post to London Design Festival, 60 Frith Street, London, W1D 3JJ. The London Design Festival cannot guarantee that entries will automatically mean selection. All winning entries will be selected at random. The English Chess Federation will be working with the organisers of the London Design Festival to manage these public games, and match winners will be awarded a pair of Camper shoes designed by Jaime Hayón.

London Design Festival

This installation is an initiative created by the London Design Festival team for the 2009 Festival in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy, The Arts Council and the London Development Agency with support from Bosa, Bisazza, BD Barcelona, Camper and production by Event Concept. The London Design Festival has also been working with the Events for London team to promote London as the world’s leading design city.

The idea behind The Tournament was to create a design spectacle and a performance which actively involves the public. Ben Evans, Director of the London Design Festival, said, "Trafalgar Square is the heart of London with tens of thousands of people passing by everyday. Jaime Hayón has created a spectacle that will draw people towards it and show them how dynamic and fun design can be."

London Design Festival

Jaime Hayón is a Spanish artist and designer, born in Madrid in 1974. After studying industrial design in Madrid and Paris he joined Fabrica in 1997 – the Benetton-funded design and communication academy. He currently lives in London, with offices in Barcelona and Treviso. His work has appeared in the most prestigious art and design publications worldwide and he has won numerous awards. In 2008 he was the guest of honour at Belgium’s Interieur Biennial, the youngest person ever to receive the accolade.

The 7th London Design Festival (19-27 September) offers a broad variety of design events providing designers, manufacturers, students, consumers, businesses and (chess) enthusiasts with an opportunity to meet, exchange ideas and celebrate the diversity of world-class design talent that London offers. London Design Festival 19 – 27 September 2009 / londondesignfestival.com / 00 44 (0)20 7734 6444.




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