The Tournament by Jaime Hayón



London Design Festival 09: The Tournament, a giant chess set by Spanish designer Jaime Hayón, opened in Trafalgar Square in London today.


The installation is the centrepiece of this year's London Design Festival, which officially starts tomorrow.


Hayón's chess set represents the Battle of Trafalgar, a key naval battle between the British fleet and the combined French and Spanish fleets, which took place off the Atlantic coast of Spain in 1805.


More info on this project, including text, renderings and drawings, in our earlier story.

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


Photos are by Susan Smart Photography.

Posted on Friday September 18th 2009 at 9:42 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • mil


  • GiantD

    “too much is not enough”
    -Eric Owen Moss

  • These are beautiful as urban objects, just the thought that someone could break one with a simple clumsy movement makes them seem very temporary.

  • berts bobje

    Will Hayon be there during the whole LDF to move the pieces around or whats going on there?

    otherwise, very boring and LDF is draining its money.

  • shaito

    dezeen you need more pictures to show the beauty of this installation , i was there now and its amazing , you cannot see the ambient and you cannot see the quality on the web .. i love it …

  • roz

    boring, deeply boring

  • m

    I wish there would be photo’s of the stairs and the chairs …!

  • JoeS

    What are the materials?

  • modular

    I’ve been here yesterday. This is really boring. I mean, when I first saw the 3Ds and mockups I got all excited. But the reality is completely different. This is just boring and has nothing related to design.

  • designgurunyc

    time for a little progress, Jaime, these are not looking new any more.

  • wow,if i was there ,i would be so excited.
    like them.

  • joyio

    beautiful concept , bravo jamie !

  • jerom vals

    hayon is a true artist mr modular if you are looking for a function in this pieces go to ikea .

  • eng sang

    i ve got excited when i saw it yesterday in real much better than the renders, i was with my girlfriend and the weather was amazing. this is a beautiful social event fantastic ! nice pict dezeen..

  • tanya telford – T

    will have a look at this, it sounds quite good, social, fun etc, are people playing all day, every day for the festival?

  • Cr

    Bad pictures. The most impressive part are the stairs and the chairs standing in front of the board !

  • jzi

    wow! they’re nice..chuy au bai….

  • JamesBennett

    In what appears quite a Salvador Dali-esque scene, you can tell why his countryman Jaime Hayon’s “The Tournament”, a giant chess set in Trafalgar Square in London, was the centrepiece in the London Design Festival. Every chess piece in the installation is beautifully crafted and painted. It is interesting to know that this giant chess set commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, between the British naval fleet and that of the combined Spanish and French fleets, though one can’t help but wonder about the political sensitivity of it. I wonder the same as one of the comments, if the chess pieces in this giant chess set were actually moved or if they were able to be played in a chess game.