Without much stylistic guidance while brainstorming this project, it was easy to think of alternative aesthetics. Assuming that I stick to the plan to make a chess board, I have brainstormed 3 variations of how that could be designed. My original idea was just focused of the aesthetic of craft. I took this reborn desire to learn a craft too seriously and went down the path of incorporating a renaissance aesthetic into the game board. Still using traditional store bought game pieces, the majority of this style would be incorporated in ornamental features of trim and decorative panels resembling murals. I think it would be fun to style a chess game as if it were a renaissance painting, capturing all the drama in the characters of the pieces. Below I have a rough sketch of how I would envision this project. Sticking to my intentions, I would make this artifact out of wood.

In a drastically different approach, minimalistic and adolescent, what if I used the aesthetic of Minecraft to design a chess set? This lead me to imagining the chess board as a Minecraft chest which contains its game board and pieces, all of which are Minecraft mobs. In order to make the set read as a Minecraft chest, I would probably paint wood with acrylic. This material combination would also make for nice cubist bright game pieces. Below is a sketch of what I thought this design could be. It would also be fun to use masking tape in attempt to recreate some block textures.

To contrast these two aesthetics, I thought of making a chess set that utilizes functional industrial materials. Rather than being dynamic in a hinge or pull drawer motion, the industrial concreate board would simply flip over to reveal another board. A separate small leather bag would hold the game pieces. As pictured below, this set would not include the traditional chess cast but would carry their motifs in hardware shape. I think that this would be easiest to make and the pieces are just items I can pick up from a store. The board itself would be a simple plate pour of concrete, scored to indicate the grid lines.

Although I’m skeptical about my timing, I am satisfied with my choice of artifact to design. There are many possibilities in portraying the classic chess set. I will have a hard time choosing which direction I want to go.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hailey Usher
    March 8, 2024 3:54 pm

    Hi Riley!! I loved the attention to detail in your sketches. I think the Minecraft idea is super playful and would be pretty easy to build or 3D print the pieces because of the block shapes. I made a chessboard/pieces out of 3D print and wood as a final project last semester, and I really enjoyed the challenge of making a foldable board be able to hold all of the pieces in it. Would you consider adding space in the box for the pieces to go, or just having a separate bag? It could be nice to have everything held in one portable box. I can’t wait to see your future progress!

  • Kyra Anderson
    March 8, 2024 11:59 am

    Hi Riley! I really loved hearing about all your ideas. I think the renaissance aesthetic is so cool!! I was just curious how you plan on cutting our your chess pieces?


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