Debut: A Final Project Exhibition

Each year The Design School at Taylor’s presents design exhibitions to mark the finish line for their graduating students. This year is no different.

The exterior look of White Box, Publika. This window sticker stood out against the colour of its surroundings.

The March 2018 cohort presented DEBUT showcasing the works of 22 graduating students from BA (Hons) Graphic Communication Design and BA (Hons) Interactive Multimedia Design. Participating students exhibited their final-year projects as a reflection of their expertise and interests. The event is also a platform for students to network with professionals in the creative industry as well as peers with different specialties, thus opening new doors for connection and collaboration.

Ernesto Carlos Pujazon Patron, Head of The Design School, delivering his speech during the opening ceremony

A crowd of approximately 200 people ranging from industry guests and lecturers to friends and family members gathered at White Box, Publika on a rainy Monday night (July 2) to celebrate the opening ceremony. Space had been decorated to echo the message of the exhibition: “We learned the rules, now it is time to break them”. Speeches were delivered by Prof. Dr. David Asirvatham, Executive Dean of Faculty of Built Environment, Technology, and Design; Ernesto Carlos Pujazon Patron, Head of The Design School, and Amal Abdulla Al-Montser, President of DEBUT Organizing Committee. Soon after, the attendees were stunned by a (literally) flashy projection as a symbolic opening act.

Both industry guests and visiting family and friends merged into the crowd to visit the students’ individual booths

Subsequently, the floor was declared open by emcee and Debutante, Arieff Bin Riduan, and the real fun began. Buzzing with chatter, either among themselves or with the students, the attendees started to examine the exhibited works. Various attractions awaited them from branding projects to big installations to technologically up-to-the-minute interactive projects. With such a diverse range of project outcomes and backgrounds, the exhibition attendees were sure not to run out of things to do for the night.

Speaking of project backgrounds, it was apparent that every student had a bigger picture in mind that triggered the conception of their final year projects. A few of the projects represented work with real-life clients, others were passion projects that represented exploration, skill, and the use of technology. Many of the projects offered solutions to social problems such as bullying, wildlife conservation, covert racism, money management, gender roles, and equality — the list goes on. These students translated those problems into design solutions that though they may not guarantee the revival of a critically endangered species or abolish the most concealed act of racism, help to bring the issue to light and stir the thoughts of those who feel concern or interest toward these issues.

Many of the projects in this exhibition provide new experiences from a new perspective—quite literally. Augmented/Virtual Reality and interactive projection mapping are considered the future that has become the now, and some Debutantes showed how it is done. The exhibition brought together a range of visions and ideas as well as new possibilities for other practices.

An exhibition attendee taking a photograph of the projection mapping that was used for the opening act.

At the end of the night, the bright red window sticker that contrasted with the exterior of White Box and its surroundings left an almost disturbing thought — maybe the design is more than pretty things, and maybe a future with design will be a better one.

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