Light Ideas Design Competition | ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science

The Light Ideas Design Competition has officially closed.

You can still read about the competition and look through the awesome collection of entries below.   

The 2022 competition will be launching soon... so stay tuned!

Call for Designs

To achieve a renewable energy future, we aim to explore how novel solar materials and photovoltaic technologies can be integrated into new structures, building elements, furniture and other devices in the urban landscape.

The material that entrants are challenged to creatively integrate into their designs is the Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC). Luminescent Solar Concentrators as a material for innovative design and construction have properties very similar to a sheet of transparent coloured plastic or Perspex.  More details regarding LSCs can be found in the below downloadable full design brief.

The Exciton Science Light Ideas Design Competition will direct and encourage the next generation of architects and designers to prepare for a future in which LSC materials are widely available in our cities. Their perspective may help guide the scientific development direction of these materials further by proposing innovative uses of this emerging technology.

Design brief

Exciton Science’s Light Ideas competition challenges designers and architects to creatively and innovatively integrate Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC) materials into design forms for the urban landscape. Your design may resemble already existing urban structures, outdoor furniture, building elements and spaces or may reimagine the requirements for the urban landscape completely. However, the Luminescent Solar Concentrator and its unique properties should be showcased in your concept.

Design concepts should be ambitious and surprising, yet feasible.

Please note this is an ideas competition and will not result in the winning designs being realized.

Good designs will:

  • Consider the material brief and characteristics
  • Explore how the material is used to maximise renewable energy potential
  • Be innovative, creative and ambitious
  • Have the ability to be feasily integrated into the urban environment

Design brief, T&Cs and PowerPoint Template

Please download the Full Design Brief, Terms and Conditions and PowerPoint Template for entry submission below.

Design brief

Terms and Conditions

PowerPoint Template

Competition details


This competition is open for students and early career graduates (graduated in 2017 or later) in design/architecture related disciplines. Entrants may submit proposals as individuals or in a small team of three or less individuals.

Competition structure

Stage 1

Entrants will be required to submit a design proposal in the provided PowerPoint template, which will include the following elements;

  • A brief conceptual statement that outlines the exploration of the material.
  • A maximum of 5 pages of drawings, sketches, renders or diagrams, describing the design intention, function and form of the intervention, including images speculating on the potential integration into the urban environment. 

10-12 entries will be shortlisted to proceed to Stage 2 and will each receive $500 to continue.

Stage 2

The shortlisted entrants will be given feedback to implement into their designs for the next phase by a mentoring panel of architects and researchers. All entrants from this stage will be featured in an exhibition to be hosted in Melbourne or online in 2021 (details TBC).

One entrant will win the overall prize of $5000.

Key dates

  • Stage 1 closes- 28 February 2021
  • Stage 2 mentoring panels (online)- Week of 15-19 March 2021
  • Stage 2 closes- 4 April 2021
  • Winners announced- Week of 12-16 April 2021


Entries should be submitted to by Sunday 28 February 2021

Luminescent Solar Concentrators

An introduction

Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) have been developed to capture and harness light in places without consistent exposure to the sun, like cities. In appearance and physical properties they are much like transparent Perspex or window panels. LSCs contain highly luminescent compounds that absorb sunlight and re-emit it at longer wavelengths. The light is trapped and directed to the edges of the device through a process called total internal reflection. A small strip of photovoltaic cell can then be positioned on the outside edges of the LSC to capture this reflected light and generate electricity.

Hear from one of our researchers, Dr Wallace Wong, to learn more about LSCs:

More details about LSCs can be found in the full design brief available above at the bottom of the design brief section. 

Contacts and Jurors


A jury composed of professionals from academia, architecture, design and engineering backgrounds will be working together to decide on the entries that will progress to Stage 2 and win the competition.


Please contact us at if you have any questions regarding the Light Ideas Design Competition.