Dezeen Magazine

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’.