London Design Festival Installs Jaime Hayón’s Giant Chess Set in Trafalgar Square

LDF chess set.jpg
(Photo: London Design Festival)

We’re sitting out London Fashion Week this season, and adding insult to the injury of missing up-close looks at spring 2010 collections by the likes of Christoper Kane, Louise Goldin, and Mark Fast is the coincident timing of the London Design Festival, which begins tomorrow and runs through September 27. Among the extensive line-up of events and attractions are a poster exhibition curated by Pentagram partner Domenic Lippa with festival chairman Sir John Sorrell, a series of panel discussions about the business of design, a “chair arch” created by Martino Gamper for the garden of the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Marc Newson‘s “Supercell,” a colorful steel structure that will be on view at Southbank Centre. The centerpiece of the festival will be “The Tournament” (pictured above), a giant chess set by Jaime Hayón now installed in Trafalgar Square. The Spanish designer worked with Italian ceramics firm Bosa to make the 32 chess pieces, each of which stands nearly seven feet tall on a gleaming glass chess board whipped up by the mosaic savants at Bisazza. Many of the handpainted pieces are topped with domes, towers, and spires that reference specific iconic buildings in London. Want to play? Apply here for the opportunity to direct the movement of the giant pieces while seated in a high-backed chair atop an elevated platform. Match winners will receive a pair of Camper shoes designed by Hayón and outsized bragging rights.