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University students entering our seventh annual Acrylic Design Competition (ADC) in China were challenged with a new brief this year. They were asked to consider ‘Using Acrylic with the Sun to: Heat your play, Light your way, and Cool your day!’ Warmth, illumination and the use of energy were recurring themes in the winning entries.

Arrow Chen, Senior Marketing Supervisor at Lucite International (Shanghai) Trading Co., Ltd., helped co-ordinate the ADC. He said: “Once again the top seven design universities in China participated in our contest. This time around there was a brand new brief, a range of improved teaching materials for the campus presentations including videos to illustrate various fabrication techniques to help students fully appreciate the scope of working with acrylic, plus a new approach to judging entries. In part one, students were asked to present their ideas to the judging panel, (design professor/ teacher, fabricator, LED lighting partner, cast sheet producer and LICC representative). Their presentations had to include primary market research, estimated costs and detailed design work. Stage two of the judging process was combined with the award ceremony, giving fabrication partners more time to finish making the prototypes as well as improving the quality of the judging process.”

The exceptional first prizewinner was “Aurora” by Lin Nian Pu from National Cheng Kung University (above). This is a lamp made entirely from acrylic and designed to mimic the effect of Polar light. The LED strips change colour slowly and smoothly, giving a sense of sitting under the ‘Aurora’. Three different colour sheets, with decorative, curved edging add beauty to the lamp, which changes colour and light intensity over time.

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Two years ago, the collaboration between aspiring designers, teachers and professors, fabricators and acrylic producers, was also extended to Philips Lumileds, who sponsored Luxeon LED – a new award introduced to encourage students to combine LEDs with acrylic in their work. This year’s Philips Luxeon LED prize went to the “HELP Lamp” – a project by Zeng Ze En also from National Cheng Kung University. This work is designed for use in areas where there is a potential fire hazard. It includes: LED lighting, flash, buzzer and charge system. All components work together to offer protection in cases of emergency, for example, you can remove the illuminated sign and use it as a torch to help escape the building.