Designboom Calls for Design Submissions for Happy LED Life Competition

Designboom call for design submissions from professionals and amatures for Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015's "Happy LED life" competition. (Photo Courtesy of Designboom)


Research into LED technology started in 1962, 53 years ago, but the invention and development of the high-power white-light LED to use for illumination has only made it into our everyday life since 1995. We celebrate the 20th anniversary of this benchmark with the 'happy LED life!' competition.

GWANGJU INTERNATIONAL DESIGN BIENNALE 2015 (Hosted by Gwangju Metropolitan City and Organized by Gwangju Design Center), in collaboration with DESIGNBOOM, present the 'happy LED life!' competition, which explores smart lighting ideas and products for public and private spaces. It seeks to improve our lit environment through LED technology, while raising awareness around low-energy consumption.

Participation is open to applicants from every country in the world - from professionals, students, to design-enthusiasts. Registration is free.

01- happy LED life!

A design competition for Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015.

The Gwangju Design Center is a non-profit organization which stands as a design-centric platform, with a convergence-based approach to cultural industries, creating a public-friendly design event bi-annually. It seeks to develop world-class brands and sustained growth through design, with a particular focus on Gwangju's local industries.

The theme of its 2015 edition is 'Conviviality with Design'.
It seeks to portray the way in which good design is not only functionally outstanding, but how it accompanies our lives in a way that improves our existence; adding energy and pleasure to our daily activities through tangible and intangible values.

Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 aims at getting the public to rediscover the essence of design, and the power it can bring to individuals and corporations in contemporary times, particularly in relationship to the growing presence of standardized technology.

This competition is about discovering new ways of experiencing the familiar, and realize the potential of design on a social, cultural and environmental level through LED lighting. The initiative works to attract the attention of international creatives to develop sustainable and imaginative LED lighting solutions for potential production by Korean technology companies, supporting the local design community and greater Asian economy.

02 - Competition Brief

Light is an essential part of our lives -- not only from the sun, but also through the electrical power-generated illumination that brightens our homes and public spaces. Encapsulated into our daily lives, it affects how we visualize and experience the environment around us, affecting our general health and overall mood.

We are seeking designs which address lighting in the domestic realm, as well as outdoor urban spaces. The concepts should bring forth new ways of interpreting and applying LED light on different scales.

The competition is divided into two categories:

is looking for LED lighting ideas that respond to the domestic space. The ideas can focus on lighting in relation to particular areas of the house; or function as a more general solution for illuminating the home.

is looking for LED lighting ideas that have the potential to stand as landmarks in our cities.The concepts should consider lighting in the public domain, in a way that it brings pleasure to everyday life through urban infrastructure and the greater public environment.

Concepts that are entered into each category should be commercially viable solutions.


03 - Prizes / Benefits

1st prize EUR 5,000 (US $5,505.25)

2nd prize EUR 3,000

3rd prize EUR 2,000

The shortlisted winners will be exhibited at the prestigious Gwangju International Design Biennale in October, presented in the form of drawings and/or model prototypes.

And as always, DESIGNBOOM will publish a report on the finalists and winners.

04 - Judges

International Panel

Paola Antonelli, Principal Design Curator at the MoMA, New York
Stefano Giovannoni, Architect / Designer, Principal of Giovannoni Design Studio, Milan
Birgit Lohmann, Editor-In-Chief of Designboom, Milan
Alberto Meda, Designer, Principal of Alberto Meda Industrial Design, Milan
Alessandro Mendini, Architect / Designer, Principal of Atelier Mendini, Milan
Denis Santachiara, Designer, Principal of Santachiara Studio, Milan
Lu Xiaobo, Dean, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing
Nagasawa Tadanori, President, Musashino Arts University, Tokyo

Domestic Panel

Sang Soo Ahn, Professor, Hongik University
Hyo Sang Seung, Architect, Irojae City architect for municipal government of Seoul
Kyung Ran Choi, General Director, Gwangju Design Biennale 2015
Don Tae Lee, Head of Global Design Team, Global Design Center of Samsung

05 - Judging Criteria

Judging will be based on the entry's depth and understanding of the competition's theme, its originality and creativity in respect to LED lighting.

How new is the idea in comparison to other LED lighting products already on the market? How unique is the design, and what is its market potential?

06 - Submit your entry / entries

You will be asked to confirm your agreement of the rules as part of your entry. Entries submitted in other formats or with technical specifics other than those permitted will not be considered.

Registration is now open. Teams should register under one name only. When submitting works, you should add all members' names.

There is no limit to the number of entries that one person can submit. If you are interested in entering more than one work, please submit each one separately.

Videos, images and text must be submitted in digital format.
Entries will NOT be accepted via physical delivery.

The core of your entry should be submitted as:

1. A maximum of 6 visuals (either single or composition images) submitted with captions:
- images should be 818 pixels wide
- please upload the following file formats only: .gif, or .jpeg
- (72 dpi) max 200 kb each file
- RGB color mode

2. A maximum of two (2) videos submitted including descriptions (also possible as part of an interview).
- Please use Vimeo or YouTube and include the URL(s) with your submission.

The entry submitted should be a low-res version of your original work.

Please keep the original high-resolution image(s) and video work(s) [DIN A0 – max. 4 panels; video in full HD].
These will be requested only if your work is shortlisted, for possible publication and exhibition purposes.

3. A brief 200-word (maximum) explanation / description of your design.


07 - Deadline for Submission of Entries

Registrations will be accepted until Monday, September 7th, 2015 @ 23:59PM (GMT).

08 - Announcement of the results

The results will be announced during the first week of October (date TBD).

09 - Intellectual Property Rights

All Works submitted will remain the exclusive property of the entrant.

However,by submitting Work(s) to the competition, the entrant agrees to provide the Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) ith the right of first refusal to the exclusive use of the Work for commercial purposes. this option is valid for 6-months after the end of the competition. In the case that Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) exercises the option to use the rights for commercial use (including production) on an exclusive basis and for an unlimited period, Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) will make a private agreement with the Entrant for the transfer of intellectual property rights.

DESIGNBOOM and Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) will have the right to use all of the Works submitted as part of the competition, and all images and video depicted therein, in any promotion or for any non-commercial purpose. By submitting a Work, the Entrant grants the Sponsor and the Producer the non-exclusive, unlimited, royalty-free, rights to publish in all media now known or hereafter discovered, and publicly display all Work for an unlimited period, and worldwide.

The right of use extends to all Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) group affiliates and includes all currently known and future methods of use and media. All Entrants authorize DESIGNBOOM and Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) to publish and exhibit all the designs (including project data submitted, and any visuals and video) - waiving compensation - at exhibitions and events and/or use them in any publications and communications that DESIGNBOOM and Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) may deem suitable and/or necessary.

Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) will have the right to apply minor amendments without damaging the integrity of the artwork - e.g. adding the Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 logo and text, reframing, translating, changing colors, cutting the background or parts of it, slightly editing the video etc…

In case DESIGNBOOM and Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center)  want to bring major changes to the submitted artwork for publication, DESIGNBOOM and Gwangju International Design Biennale 2015 (Gwangju Design Center) will contact the designer(s) and inform him/her about the use to obtain the designer(s)'s consent.

10 - Please read the Official Rules

11 - Questions?

Inquiries should be sent to: .

In the subject line, please make sure to write: happy LED life! competition inquiry (English text only)

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