Visit Blackpool

Design Competition

One of the UK’s top universities is joining forces with an innovative young designer to create a spectacular light installation for this year’s world-famous Blackpool Illuminations.

Jack Irving, known for his amazing costume designs for Lady Gaga, will collaborate with a team of computer scientists from Lancaster University after the two were named as winners of a £100k competition to deliver the new attraction, bringing a new dimension to the 2022 display.
Jack and the university team, led by Professor Joe Finney, were among numerous entrants from all over the world vying for the unique opportunity to be part of Blackpool Illuminations.

A panel of judges, chaired by Blackpool Illuminations creative curator, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, decided to award the prize to joint winners, with Jack providing the creative content and Professor Finney’s team providing the technical expertise.
Their concept will incorporate deep sea creatures brought to life in a high-tech, interactive projection show on the Promenade close to The Blackpool Tower.
The project will now move from concept to manufacture stage with the two teams working together to create the installation.

“Being brought up next to the sea, my fascination with the eye-catching creatures and organisms that live there, has been my inspiration for the design.
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light. This phenomenon is called bioluminescence.  I have used this as my inspiration for my Illuminations design”

Blackpool Illuminations design competition 2021
(Photo credit: Lancaster University & Jack Irving)

Professor Finney, from Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications, added: “Lancaster University is committed to local, regional and international public engagement, and we are really excited about this opportunity to create a unique and engaging visitor experience for this year’s Blackpool Illuminations.

“This project provides a great example of the creative and collaborative nature of modern Computer Science, and how it can transform our daily lives.”