Zhao Jianxiong, a student from Tongji University, has won first prize in Lucite International’s (LI) Acrylic Design Competition with a fabulous piece of work entitled, Diamond Vestibule Light. Now in its fifth successful year, LI’s Acrylic Design Competition (ADC) attracted 175 entries from seven top institutions, including the prestigious Taiwan National Cheng Kung.

The ADC has always been about building understanding of acrylics- influencing young designers in the early stages of their studies not only to consider the material and its benefits but also demonstrating how to work with it and process it into finished products. This meant close collaboration with LI’s manufacturing partners to give students first-hand experience of processing acrylics in a commercial environment.

In 2013, collaboration extended to another partner, Philips Lumileds, which sponsored a new award- LUXEON LED. The new award was introduced to build on the work done in 2012 to encourage students to combine LEDs with acrylic in their entries. From the winning works as well as many of the short-listed pieces, it is clear that using LED light with acrylic is a trend that is set to grow and grow.

Chunfu Chen, Marketing Development Supervisor at LI in China comments,

“We are delighted with the exceptionally high quality entries this year, and it was great to have Philips Lumileds join us to further expand the idea of using LEDs with acrylic. The awards ceremony was held in a beautiful setting at the Shanghai Indigo hotel, overlooking the Huangpo River. We brought together competition entrants, their university lecturers, representatives from our manufacturing partners and cast sheet companies as well as LI people. It was a very special occasion for us all. With such enthusiasm for exchanging ideas, creativity and expanding the potential for acrylic, especially with the use of LEDs, we are already anticipating an exciting time ahead as we start to develop ADC 2014!”

Zhao Jianxiong’s Diamond Vestibule Light concept shows off a piece of clear acrylic sheet cut into intricate ‘V’ shapes, which are pieced together and fitted with LEDs. When connected to a power source, the concept piece creates dazzling bright light. The cutting technique and resultant brilliant light is reminiscent of the way diamonds are cut and treated, which is where the name comes from. Designed for the home, the concept is environmentally kind due to the creative use of both acrylic and LEDs. Judges commented on its suitability for use in restaurants, hotels, and other commercial interiors.

The ADC 2013 LUXEON LED prize winner was Fang Daorong from Tsinghua University with Fairy Light Series. Fang’s concept consists of eight pieces of crystal clear acrylic sheet with built-in light guide performance which are used with an interesting handcrafted weave layer and LED light source to create an innovative lighting installation. The light source is completely hidden yet it creates a soft, warm glow and the design features of the weave layer can be altered to create a variety of lighting moods and effects.

Lucite International works with local cast acrylic sheet manufacturers in Asia to make the Acrylic Design Competition possible. Their partners include: Heshan Respect Acrylic Co Ltd, Lei Mei Acrylic (Dongguan) Co Ltd, Ningbo Tachygem Acrylic Industry Co Ltd, Shanghai Acrylic Chemical Industry Co Ltd, Shanghai Raychung Acrylic Industry Co Ltd, Taixing Domchamp Acrylics Co Ltd and Zhejiang Longyou Zhanyu Acrylic Co Ltd.