A giant chess set will be placed in Trafalgar Square next week as a highlight of the London Design Festival. The chess pieces are the work of Spanish artist/designer Jaime Hayon. They tower over the public at 2m tall and are set on rollers so they can be easily moved around, Alice in Wonderland-style. After a tournament by the British Chess Foundation, the public can have their turn at directing the chess pieces from elevated thrones. Play is becoming integral to the way brands and places behave.

For its 60th anniversary, Hasbro transformed San Francisco’s winding Lombard Street into a huge version of its Candy Land racing game.

San Francisco Candy LandLombard Street in colourful squares ready for play to commence

Participants play their way up the squares for the prize waiting at the finish line – a Candy Land cake.

cakeDebbie Does Cake’s edible prize

Monopoly has teamed up wth Google to produce Monopoly City Streets, the “greatest property magnate the world has ever known”.

monopoly city streetsBuy and sell any street in the world

Players can buy and sell any street in the world and build not only the standard property houses and hotels, but anything from sewage plants to castles to football stadiums. To mark the launch, London Southbank’s Shell Centre has been transformed into the iconic golden Monopoly tower.

monopoly shellThe Monopoly Golden Tower, aka London’s Shell Centre

There is also a competition for budding property magnates and architects alike, that lets you use Google SketchUp and 3D Warehouse to submit building designs with a chance to feature in the virtual Monopoly.

We’re thinking demolition company collaborations with Jenga; pest control companies assembling elaborate versions of Mousetrap; Rodeo Nights teaming up with Bucking Bronco; and to motivate and distract the office staff, giant marble runs and 3D Snakes and Ladders through the city skyscrapers.

References: London Design Festival, dear old Guardian

Thanks to Ellie Osbourne for this story. Ellie is contemplating what life would be like in Bookham Village, Surrey, giant Mousetrap-style.


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