The Battle of Trafalgar by Jaime Hayón



London Design Festival 09: Spanish designer Jaime Hayón will create a giant chess set in Trafalgar Square, London, as part of this September's London Design Festival. Update: Hayón has sent us many new drawings, renderings and research materials, which we've added below.


The installation, announced today at the festival's press launch, is billed as "a design reinterpretation of the Battle of Trafalgar".


See all our stories about London Design Festival 2009 in our special category.

Here's some info from the London Design Festival:



The London Design Festival today announced its plans for the seventh Festival, running 19–27 September, with an array of innovative and creative events, installations and exhibitions taking place all over London. Speaking at the Press Conference held at the V&A Museum, Ben Evans, Festival Director outlined some of the major highlights of the Festival.


The Battle of Trafalgar

At the centre of the Festival will be a gigantic chess board in Trafalgar Square. Spanish designer Jaime Hayón has designed thirty-two ceramic chess pieces, each up to 2m tall that will be located in the centre of Trafalgar Square.


The installation - supported by Arts Council England and the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade - will be interactive, inviting the public to stage giant-scale chess matches; a design reinterpretation of the Battle of Trafalgar.


The V&A

This year, for the first time, the London Design Festival will take up residence within the V&A, one of the world’s greatest museums of art and design, signalling the start of a closer on-going relationship. The museum has set aside the newly opened Sackler Centre and other areas of the museum for Festival events, shows, talks and installations.


Highlights include:

The Wallpaper* Chair Arch - a dramatic outdoor installation reviving a great Victorian tradition. In honour of Britain’s creative industries Wallpaper* is commissioning a contemporary arch from one of the city’s most prominent and exciting young designers. A specially commissioned installation in the Tunnel Entrance to the V&A commissioned by Arts Co created from reclaimed waste.


'In Praise of Shadows' – an exhibition organised by EUNIC (the network of European Cultural Centres) with the support of the European Commission to mark the advent of the EU directive to phase out low-efficiency light bulbs by 2012. The project - curated by Jane Withers - is opportunity to challenge the way we think about light, allowing visitors to enjoy a choreography of light in darkened galleries.


A unique poster exhibition curated by Domenic Lippa, Partner at Pentagram Design, featuring the work of 25 leading graphic designers.
Design tours within the V&A, led by a small number of key London designers pointing out collections or objects with special significance.
A major party to celebrate The London Design Festival 2009 within the V&A, 24 September.


Size + Matter at Southbank Centre

Now in its third year the Size + Matter project goes from strength to strength in 2009 – with Shiguru Ban and another leading designer commissioned to use materials to create a temporary piece of public design.  The installations will be on show outside Southbank Centre, Phillips De Pury & Company will auction the pieces in the autumn.  Past Size + Matter commissions include works by high profile designers Amanda Levete, Zaha Hadid and David Adjaye.


This year’s Festival also promises a unique blend of up to 200 events and activities taking place in the capital. The varied programme will include international exhibitions, trade events, local showcases, installations, talks and seminars, product launches, receptions, private views and parties - all reflecting London’s place at the heart of the international design community and its position as a world creative capital.


Mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘There has never been a better time to support London’s thriving creative industries and highlight the dynamic design that continues to boost our economy and attract investment to the capital. The London Design Festival helps promote our world-class innovative design and I encourage everyone to attend and experience London's creative brilliance.’


Ben Evans, Director of the London Design Festival said ‘in times of adversity design should be bold and ideas driven. Now is an opportunity for a creative approach. We hope this year’s Festival will be a platform for the best that design can offer’.





Posted on Thursday May 7th 2009 at 5:08 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Cabo

    Wasn’t the Battle of Trafalgar between England and France? What’s the connection?

  • Suki

    Cabo ^ What is this the ‘spanish’ inquisition ?

  • Looks like an episode of The Prisoner.



    WELL DONE .. !

  • modular

    Hey Leo, thank you for using CAPS. I believe that everyone should thank you as well, since your message was as much important as the invention of the wheel.

  • is there a moderator here with a cap ?

  • if i says good JOB is it positive or negative comment?

  • to Cabo , Suki and others
    Who he is?
    Fist of all i must say Jaime(= love in french) is a master in stategy , then he is an artist , a master in hand drawing not only in computer and virtual design ( what i call “air design”) as a lot of young designers, then he dunnot need an industry to be a designer but crafmanshifts, then there is no connection between french design and him, because he is spanish , has a “fabrica” in Italy and a studio in London… He is an international player as prof Z. but….
    Who i am? Prof Z ex Zuy
    I’m a producer of immaterality . I want “to become unnoticed ” as my Master in chess and in art + design(who know that) Man Ray, stanger in America and stanger in Europa , stranger in Asia too. i’m only the shadow of Philippe Starck, my master in go ( go) game.

  • what is new on this idea. there was a big chess game in every lido in the seventies. Jaime Hayón is so arbitrarily.

  • Luxury Larry

    wow…i am excited about this. let hope i will be here for the festival!

  • m

    hayon’s doing the same over and over again… by the way trafalgar was spain against britain.

    m, from barcelona

  • yako yanabe

    What Hayon is doing is good projects over and over again sorry mr or mss M, i must said that i dont like all he does.But baccarat was amazing , the ceccotti chair in the salone was a master piece , and his shoes for camper are so beautiful , i like very much this new idea is great for the context , is playful and social .i agree with Larry i wish i could be there for the festival .
    thanks dezeen for the nice new images .

  • 1/”hayon’s doing the same over and over” : No , see all his “products” ,it’s not only surface design by graphic designer…He has his own vocabulary…as Miro for exemple…
    2/ spain + italy + Uk , it’s a piece of Europa chess in a diificult World game…Why without France+ Germany and others Eu countries?
    3/I hope Jaime will come in Paris / France asap to play design+ art with Bertrand Delanoe (Paris’ mayor) or other major cities players…

  • joop

    Looks like Studio Job

  • yako yanabe

    That will be nice next installation in the trocadero ..

  • Um, Trafalgar was Britain against Spain *and* France.

  • Nelson must be spinning on his column

  • Kevin

    Ha ha ha @ Fish fingers! very funny!

  • very spectacular,they are!
    compare with the 2009 year, i like the former more.

  • mvw

    even though i dont like this "flahsy-new-super-modern-i'm-such-skateboarder-rebell"- style, his visual reaction on the battle of trafalgar was quite a shot, wasn t it
    i m rather annoyed by him..why does every halfway successful artist or designer have to stand in front of their art? seriously, i m barely aware of any recent popular art piece that wasnt made by someone with a star-like identity. is it all about the creator ever since warhol?! does there always have to be a strong character in front of a good art work?! i really dont think so – as a matter of fact, i think its a pity that its almost impossible to enjoy a good installation, a good painting or whatever it may be without a famous name tag+well-known personality to it! i wonder what would be different in our perception of art and i hope i will still experience that moment!