Quantum Chess: A Redesign based on Science

February 20th, 2012




The Quantum Chess set by Olena Shmahalo is a redesign of the classic board game. In Quantum Mechanics if you aren’t acquainted already, it states that particles are everywhere unless they are being observed. The trajectories of particles are essentially oscillating back and forth much like waveforms. Everything that we see or touch is constantly moving very rapidly at such a level where we actually can’t see it. Pretty wild right?

Below is an interesting description of the project:

The material, fired clay, alludes to the biblical story of creation (from dust, dirt, mud) as it sits in accordance with the current, scientific understanding of our being. The phrase “Created in the image of god” has become equivalent to being “made of star stuff” (Carl Sagan).

As each piece is both “subject” and “landscape” (piece & board), the set does away with the concept of Classical separation in favor of suggesting a perception of All as unified, yet variously manifested. The shape of the “landscape” comes from illustrated representations of quantum space-time, magnified, as seen in Hawking’s Brief History of Time. The metaphorical form of these pieces complicates the game, just as increased knowledge requires more complex equipment and more difficult questions. Each time a new game is begun, it must be treated as if entering a new “universe”. It’s possible to play Quantum Chess according to the classic rules, but the players must assign names to and label the pieces in order to keep track of the game.

Posted by on 02/20/12 in Design

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