Disctopia: A Virtual to Visual Reality exhibit of Interior Design students of USA

Story and photos by: Emme Rose Santiagudo

The famous philosopher Jean Baudrillard in his writings postulated that the postmodern culture translated society to become so reliant on models and maps that we have lost all contact with the real world.

In this present world, Baudrillard contended that the simulation is no longer a reflection of reality, nor a reference to it, but a creation of a new real by models that are not based on reality, coining the term “hyperreal”.

He also pointed out a culture that is rife with capitalistic tendencies and predicted what we now are familiar with, the virtual cyberspace culture.

Today’s younger generation or the millennials are fazed by all these illusions and hyperreality alongside the uncertainty brought about by the future.

But, all these illusions, hyperreality, and uncertainty about the future can also serve as inspiration to aspiring artists and designers.

For instance, graduating students of Bachelor of Science in Interior Design under the College of Technology of the University of San Agustin used these challenging concepts to apply what they learned from the classroom and translated it to become visual realities in their exhibit, entitled “Disctopia: Virtual to Visual Reality”.

Five groups composed of five members of the graduating batch successfully mounted five different areas of an art hub from café, lobby, game room, music room, and to an art gallery each with their own interpretation.

Alongside with the unique and futuristic set of furniture, each of the five areas were also adorned with statement and artfully displayed pieces, transforming the space into a fast-forward and ultramodern exhibit filled with hyperrealities of the virtual space.

Michael Jan Alejo, the instructor of the students, said that the exhibit was an additional requirement for fourth years before graduation to guide them once they start working on the field and the construction world.


“On top of their thesis we have this every year. It’s a special project for the graduating students. This is their prelude to the construction world for them to experience what its really like when they start working on the field,” he said.

For this year, the students’ conceptual design is Vaporwave, a microgenre of electric music and an internet meme that emerged in 2010.

The exhibit aims to create an aesthetic with a view towards modern world, slamming the idea that Generations Y and Z are only into aesthetics but can actually think of essential impact on what they create.

Alejo said their exhibit is targeted towards the younger generation or the millennials.

“The batch decided that they want to feature a more futuristic side of design incorporating music, internet culture, pop cultureand everything that has to do with future,” he said.

Ralph John Ledesma chairman of the exhibit, shared the challenge especially in materializing their concept into the exhibit.

“It’s mostly about music because vaporwave is a micro genre of electronic pop which originated in 2010. It’s a bit hard for us since vaporwave is somehow revolution against capitalist movement especially since we need to create something out of revolution but I am happy and proud of everyone because they did all of their best to make everything happened,” he said.

With the successful exhibit, Alejo also hopes to encourage young kids to take up the course, BS in Interior Design.

“I am proud that my students were able to finish it. We also want our visitors especially the young generation or the kids to be curious and ask out our program since most of them they really don’t know about interior design. When they see our exhibit, they will somehow be interested. That is how we encourage younger kids to take up interior design,” he noted.

The exhibit which ended last March 17, 2019 was a success not only in transforming virtual concepts into visual realities but also in proving that the younger generations has still so much to offer.