The Tournament

Sep

19-27

2009

All day

Free Event

Landmark Project

In 2010 Jaime Hayón's giant chess set took over Trafalgar Square.

Each of these 22 chess pieces was handcrafted by Hayón, working with Bosa, the Italian ceramics experts in Veneto, Italy. Each piece was created to represent a part of London or an iconic building. The chess pieces were supported on castors so that they could be moved around easily on the chess board. Chess players descended on the Square for a chance to play a real game with these two metre high pieces.

Sir John Sorrell remembers the installation: "The Trafalgar Square chess set by Jaime Hayón was just unbelievable. I think people found that very surprising. The fact that it was going on at the same time as Antony Gormley's Fouth Plinth installation was very interesting, and for a moment it seemed like the whole world of creativity was taking place in Trafalgar Square."

Hayón based his piece on the Battle of Trafalgar, which Hayon saw as a turning point in European history, the chess battle representing the strategy that finally defeated French and Spanish forces. "The pieces are all handmade in ceramics," said Hayón. "For some of these pieces there's more than 300 hours of work."

For Hayón it marked a radical departure; this was social design. "This is the first time that I've done something where people can get involved," he said. "And for that I'm really, really happy."

London Design Festival

Over nine days in September, the London Design Festival feature hundreds of events taking place across London, showcasing the city's pivotal role in global design. The London Design Festival 2018 will be held 15-23 September, featuring over 400 Partners, Landmark Projects, and V&A Commissions.

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