The six shortlisted teams are led by London practices AL_A, Adjaye Associates and Sam Jacob Studio, New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York-based artist Leo Villareal and Lyon lighting studio Les Éclairagistes Associés.
Whittled down from 105 entrants, the six shortlisted teams in The Illuminated River competition have devised designs that involve spotlights, projections and florescent tubes.
Together the groups contain 73 artists, architects, designers, planners and engineers from across Asia, Europe, as well as North and South America.
"Since the founding of London, the mighty Thames has been the city's main artery, linking north and south, east and west, encouraging business, activity and recreation," said Hannah Rothschild, who is chair of both The Illuminated River Foundation and The National Gallery.
"But at night, the river becomes a ribbon of darkness, a place that few enjoy and at odds with the ambition to make London a 24-hour city," she added. "This project will bring light, energy, beauty and recreation to the river and at the flick of a switch, transform the city at night."
The proposals will be on show at London's Royal Festival Hall from 9 until 29 November 2016, with a winner announced on 8 December 2016.
The winner will be selected by a jury including artists Michael Craig-Martin and James Turrell, as well as former Serpentine Gallery director Julia Peyton-Jones and Second Home founder Rohan Silva.
See the full shortlist:
Team one: Blurring Boundaries, led by Adjaye Associates
Team: Cai Guo-Qiang, Chris Ofili, Larry Bell, Jeremy Deller, Philippe Parreno, Richard Woods, Mariko Mori, Lorna Simpson, Teresita Fernández, Joana Vasconcelos, Angela Bulloch, Thukral & Tagra, Katharina Grosse, Glenn Ligon, Doug Aitken, Tomás Saraceno, onedotzero digital consultants, Plan A Consultants, DHA, Hurley Palmer Flatt, AKT II, AECOM, Arup, Sir Robert McAlpine, Tavernor Consultancy, DP9, Four Communications, Hayes Davidson digital visualisers, Bosch and iGuzzini.
Team two: The Eternal Story of the River Thames, led by AL_A
Team: Asif Kapadia, Simon Stephens, SEAM Design, Arup, GROSS. MAX., Mark Filip, Soundings and DP9.
Team three: Synchronizing the City: Its Natural and Urban Rhythms, led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Team: Oliver Beer, Arup, Copper Consultancy, L'Observatoire International, Penoyre & Prasad, Jennifer Tipton and Transsolar.
Team four: Current, led by Leo Villareal
Team: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Future\Pace, Atelier Ten, Beckett Rankine, Bradley Hemmings, Core Five, Futurecity, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, MBNA Thames Clippers, Montagu Evans, Pentagram, Price & Myers.
Team five: A River Ain't Too Much To Light, led by Les Éclairagistes Associés
Team: Ecqi, Federico Pietrella, GVA Lighting Europe Limited and Ewo.
Team six: Thames Nocturne, led by Sam Jacob Studio
Team: Simon Heijdens, Studio Dekka, Daisy Froud, Elliott Wood, Jackson Coles and John Tyrer.