PhoScope, a think tank on light established in 2011 by New York-based lighting designer Nathalie Rozot to create “a new platform to facilitate change in the practice, education and critical study of lighting,” is participating in the International Year of Light activities with a competition titled “PhosWords of the Year 2015.”

As part of PhoScope’s platform for dialogue, the not-for-profit has established a new language of light—PhosWords. Using the Greek etymology of light (Photo-, Phos-) as a way to communicate about light and lighting, PhosWords are “neologisms that serve as a manifesto and claim space for a photocentric culture.” The first edition of PhosWords include more than 450 vocabulary items. As the competition brief describes, “The lexicon not only raises awareness about light-related disciplines, but also advances the narration of light and lighting in everyone’s daily life.”

For the competition participants are asked to submit words that deal with light and lighting. Entries must include full definition(s) in English and all etymological references, as well as the Greek root Photo- or Phos- for light. (Entries that use the Latin root Lux instead will be disqualified.) One application for each PhosWord is required; multiple entries are allowed. 

Entries will be accepted through Oct. 1, 2015 and can be sent via email to A jury, which will be announced over the summer, will select winners in November and the winning entries will then be announced and published online in December as part of the second edition of PhosWords.

Questions regarding the competition should be addressed to: