Democratic Chess by Florian Hauswirth

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Democratic Chess by Florian Hauswirth

In this game of chess created by designer Florian Hauswirth of Switzerland, pieces that are taken can be stacked to create new pieces with combined abilities.

Democratic Chess by Florian Hauswirth

Called Democratic Chess, the maple set can be used either as a traditional chess set or played according to Hauswirth's rules.

Democratic Chess by Florian Hauswirth

The design was presented at Ventura Lambrate in Milan last month as part of a presentation entitled Trattoria Utopia by design collective Postfossil.

Democratic Chess by Florian Hauswirth

See all our stories about Milan 2011 »

Here are some more details from Hauswirth:


Democratic Chess - Postfossil Trattoria Utopia Collection 2011

The game of chess as model for a utopian society

The scenario described by a traditional chess set consists of a monarchy with entourage including a castle/city, soldiers/knights and pawns/people. It is a game of strategy, whereby planning for the next move is essential.

Chess – ‘The Royal Game’ – has been played since time immemorial in the most varied cultures from India to Persia, Russia, to the Vikings. Nowadays, computers are increasingly playing alongside chess masters.

Democratic Chess is a new interpretation of the traditional chess game. Not only the form, but also the function of the figures has been re-interpreted, which means that the flow and content of the game can change. Democratic Chess increases the unpredictability of the game, creating totally new and surprising situations.

New ways of playing are made possible by the shape of the figures. Pieces taken are not eliminated but stacked, thus creating new figures, which have more abilities. For example, a knight or even a second queen can be made from several pawns etc.

Democratic Chess can be played in one of three ways:

  • normal chess (monarchy) with the traditional rules
  • the new, democratic chess, with flexible values and play scenarios
  • A constructive children’s game

Material: maple wood, in coloured varnish

POSTFOSSIL sets up its exhibition ‘Trattoria Utopia’ during the Milan Furniture Fair (12 -17 April 2011) in Ventura Lambrate.

The objects exhibited in the exhibition ‘Trattoria Utopia’ provoke discussion, encourage questions and allow new utopias to arise. The interaction in the space is central, as is the exchange between visitors and designers. Trattoria Utopia ventures a peek at the future, suggests possible scenarios and combines these with impossible ones. Visions are presented, but developed together with visitors. Trattoria Utopia is a meeting place that invites one to spend time, make discoveries and to contemplate.

The collection ranges from cutlery, crockery, seating to toys: Objects that can be found in a trattoria, but which also deal with the postfossil vision. The objects are arranged and displayed on and around a large board. Removed from their pure function as exhibits, they can be tried out and tested by the visitors.


See also:

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FHNY Collection
by Florian Hauswirth
Postfossil at
Milan 2010
Doublefacette
by Postfossil
  • joao

    Smart and neat, and the photo instantly communicates the function.

  • The_Wolf

    I would like to know the rules of the hybrid chess match.
    I wonder if Florian Hauswirth knows how to play traditional chess. The board in the third image is set incorrectly (the knights are positioned between the bishops and rooks at start). Is this the starting position of hybrid chess? Or does this guy know anything about his source material?

  • nicey

    @the wolf. hey man this is democratic chess; geddit? traditional hierarchies are so like, over. no more knighthoods and bishoprics; hang loose with the rookies and feel the love.

  • dom

    Really intriguing, I hope someone thought about the rules as much as about the design…. I would love to play it.

  • http://www.chesssets.co.uk/ James Bennett

    This democratic chess by Florian Hauswirth has taken the traditional chess game to a whole different level. It creates more unpredictability of the situation, and new strategies will be devised and formed. The chess pieces, once stacked, give a whole different meaning to the traditional ones.

    Of course, the design of these wooden chess pieces have the classic curves and lines which will definitely become a favorite of new and adventurous chess game players. These chess pieces will also be a nice decorative element in a very classy zen-like home or living space. Kudos to Florian for such design elegance with ‘unpredictability’ elements.