Design has always affected the way that we live. From furniture, to gadgets, clothing and housing, design’s ability to improve the way we look, move, work and feel has long been evident. But in recent times, design has increasingly been recognised as a virtuosity that has more to offer the world than simply utility and beauty. When staring down the barrel of unprecedented planetary challenges, design’s true potential is revealed: it can show us a better future.

CUSP: Designing into the Next Decade explores this terrain, presenting a selection of outstanding Australian designers with ideas that could change the way we inhabit the world. Ranging from artificially intelligent wallpaper that communicates with bystanders, to a design methodology that 445Highis dramatically improving the health of disadvantaged communities, to an aural experience that alters the way we listen to our environment, each project reveals a concern for the wellbeing and progression of humanity.

More than just an exhibition of selected works, CUSP is a journey into the expanse of each designer’s world. By uncovering not only what each does, but also how and why each does it, we can begin to appreciate the potential of design in our lives.

CUSP is also an opportunity to challenge our own beliefs about how cultural content is presented and experienced. What is the format of an exhibition in the twenty-first century? How else can we engage with ideas in a gallery? Can a touring exhibition be recast as a cumulative sponge that collects new ideas on the road?

For this last reason in particular, we haven’t printed an exhibition catalogue for you to purchase. Instead, invest your time perusing this snowballing website. Watch a micro-documentary. Read a newly added piece of writing. Find out where the exhibition is. Tell us what you think on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Talk to each other.

The public unveiling of CUSP in 2013 isn’t the end of the story. It’s the beginning of a two-year conversation about how design can positively shape our future.