Student Name: Gray Nance

School: Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design

Studio: ENV_101

Instructor: William Taylor

The aim of this project was to extract data from a specific match of a strategic board game in order to inform design language. I chose chess. 8 moves from each player were analyzed. The direction, length, and result of each move dictated the interior of an 8-inch x 8-inch implied cube. In order to create an exterior for the structure, the shapes of the interior moves were ‘swung’ outward on to the front, back, top and bottom of the cube and the moves were traced in the direction of play for each team to create sides for the structure.

Image 1

The Game Cube project was an attempt to use any data that could be extracted from 16 moves of a single match of any strategic board game which has two opposing sides. The reason for this was to explore the idea of polarity in data and design. The game that was used for this project was the 1981 chess match, “On Pins & Needles,” between Geoff Chandler and Richard Kynoch. The 15th through 22nd moves of the game were inspected for possible data. 

Image 2

Several factors were examined for each move. These included origin and destination of the moving piece, directionality of the move, and the result of the move (kill/no kill). After inspecting this data, it was translated on to an 8-inch x 8-inch field. The direction of each move was mapped and extended back to the respective teams starting side. In the case of a kill, an extension was created. The extension ran all the way to edge of the board on the right side for the black team, and to the left for the white team. In order to begin the translation to 3D, the moves from the white team were depressed ½” while moves from the black team extended ½” upwards.

Image 4

To turn this 8-inch x 8-inch field into an implied cube, each set up moves was tiered upwards 1” and stacked atop one another in ascending order to create a core. Each level now represents one move for each team. 

Next, to create an exterior shell for this structure, the shape of each move from the previous steps was ‘swung’ outwards. The white team’s moves were hinged upwards and around the cube on their starting side to create a solid face on an empty field. The black team’s moves were hinged downwards and around the cube on their starting side to cut away and create empty space on a solid field.

Image 5

The shell on the ‘kill sides’ of the cube advanced from the respective team’s starting side. White team advancement highlighted negative space, stopping where it ran in to a black team interior mapped move. Black team advancement created positive space, stopping where is ran in to a white team interior mapped move.

Finally, kill extensions were connected to their corresponding move on the shell by a thin curtain. White team kill curtains expanded from the shell towards the extension. Black team kill curtains expanded from the extension towards the shell.