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CHESS_01: Our culture defined by play


The object of chess has always been to capture the king - at all costs. PRIMER takes another look at the game through more current cultural perspectives.

We highlight parallels between the game of chess and humanity to assess the costs associated with achieving so-called “victory” during conflict. We challenge the player to question the clarity of their conviction. Chess_01 illustrates that there are no absolutes, no ultimate right and wrong, no black & white.


Good Design: Industrial Design 2015



On the base of each piece, there is a very fine white or black ring; the white rings are most visible when they are on the high-contrast black board.


When the pieces are off the board and without the high contrast, they begin to look the same. This loss of affiliation off the board helps illustrate the entire tally versus separately counting how many white or how many black pieces are captured.

Likewise, the entire board is black, representing the fog of war, and provoking the player to reflect on the placement and positioning of their pieces in a non-binary context.


King Pyrrhus


A “Pyrrhic Victory” named after the King Pyrrhus describes a victory that came at too great a cost. Chess_01 emphasizes the total loss during game play and no longer gives the impression of “who is winning,” but more importantly - what is the total cost.