Image: Conor Provenzano —

See the winning designs | What Lights You Up?

Congratulations to the winners! To view the winning designs projected onto Lee Square, you can watch from home or visit Lee Square beginning at dusk during these times:

  • January 3-9: Children/Youth Winning Design
  • January 10-16: UBC Student Winning Design
  • January 17-23: Digital Animator Winning Design
  • January 24-30: Four special mentions with the winning designs alternating every day of the week.



Read the winners and special mentions' design inspirations below and find photos on our blog.  

UBC Student Winner: Z. Zeng

My design consists of various footprints because I wanted to make a projection which the users of Lee Square can interact with when they walk by. The circular walking path with human footprints colored in green is representing a state of sustainability. I wish the audience could keep an eye on their carbon footprint and live sustainably, in order to provide a quality circle of life for many generations to come. Footprints of various animals are shown, symbolizing a state of co-existence, which can only be achieved when humans start to be accountable for their actions and embrace diversity. As a forestry conservation student, I’ve been an avid individual trying to acquire knowledge and methods to protect the environment. Knowing that UBC is actively taking actions to combat climate change, I feel inspired and the idea of sustainability lights me up. I wish my design could promote pro-environmental behaviours and instil community pride among everyone who’s fighting for a better tomorrow.

Children & Youth Winner: E. Lau

My design can be seen as different images from all perspectives. My inspiration comes from my personal passion in design, from my design process, to motivation and intentions. I enjoy creating art for others to provide positivity through design. I get inspiration from other creators as well, which creates this cycle of positive energy and inspiring motivation. From a vertical standpoint, it begins with a flat ground, just like when I’m stuck with ideas. Next, is the tangled rose, representing my cluttered and overwhelming range of ideas. However, once I overcome this, I can finally evolve into a fully bloomed flower. This would become positive reactions from others and myself, along with the feeling of accomplishment and self improvement. On the other hand, if viewed from a horizontal standpoint, the flowers form the shape of glasses lenses, symbolizing my vision. One lense is unclear, messy, and vague, while the other is much clearer, just like when I figure out my goals. My vision is half unclear while my intentions slowly become clearer. I hope to share this sort of relatable vision/process with the community.

Digital Animator Winner: J. Roh

UBC has been my home for most of my life. I walk the paths of our neighbourhood, surrounded by extraordinary beauty that is special to UBC. Something I love about UBC is that the four seasons distinctly and dramatically transform its landscape. I want to take my community through a year in this incredible campus. I invite you to walk amidst the blooming roses at The Rose Garden in spring, to dip your toes in the refreshing waves at Wreck Beach, to be showered by the vibrant leaves of trees in autumn, and to take comfort in the peaceful falling of snow in winter. I would also like to extend a message of unity to my community through my design. This year has posed some unexpected challenges to us all, and I would like the members of my community to know that we are stronger together, as a community.

Special Mentions:

A. Gibson: I wanted to create a piece that stressed the importance of connection when things are difficult. In my piece two people are looking at each other lovingly and unbothered by the rain coming down on them. The piece is aimed to say: Even when we are in situations out of our control as long as we keep our connections in our hearts it will never be alone. This piece also reminds me of my home, Vancouver, because of the rain and how so many people here tend to neglect umbrellas so much more than in other places I have lived.

C. Shao: Compass roses are traditionally used to guide lost travelers, and I believe that is a fitting metaphor for many predicaments people often find themselves in. They represent direction, a path, a purpose in life, and that is what lights me up - the idea of knowing which path to take and what lies in wait in the future. To lose direction in one’s own life is to lose meaning, which is why it is vital to stay true to your morals and what you believe in. Knowing where you’re heading and which path to take is important. I find using compasses to find your way whether you’re metaphorically or literally lost a beautiful concept to think about, as it seems losing your way is a common scenario in these trying times. But despite any hardships, it is comforting to think there will always be true North to look for.

J.Weng: Fourier transform: a team of vectors working together, tip to tail, can trace any curve. Math is beautiful! (Echoing 3Blue1Brown, whose python library was used to create this animation!). In one line, this is a dolphin, a denizen of the coasts of B.C; we are grateful to coexist in this space. Embodying teamwork, intelligence, and compassion, the dolphin stereotype is one that brings joy to many. (Unhelpful in breaking the stereotype, but hope my animation may bring a smile to a passer-by :) and an emblem of nature to the plaza.)Deep breaths: Onwards, like the dolphin wave (with dolphin stroke).

L. Boltwood & C. Liu: Our design is an interactive “Choose your own adventure” footprint map. It starts in the middle and flows into several directions. Where you end up depends on the path you pick, but the words are all connected so it is possible to find yourself at each one. Each word is a verb, because we, as students, are constantly inspired by the collective actions, both big and small, that we’ve witnessed our peers take to make the world a more resilient, peaceful, equitable, vibrant, and sustainable place. We feel that when we're feeling stuck, taking that first step from the middle spot motivates us to choose an adventure that Lights Us Up.