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CUSP heads north: State Library of Queensland

CUSP has hit SLQ with a colourful bang! Housed across two locations inside the SLQ building – the Info Zone and the Gallery – CUSP has been lucky to be exhibited in amongst the creative brilliance of Naomi Takeifanga and the exhibitions team at SLQ.

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I have been excited about how CUSP has really had a hand in designing its own environment here at SLQ. CUSP’s visual identity created by TOKO.Design inspired a multicoloured makeover of the Gallery. The designers themselves inspired a special ‘Designer’s Choice’ design library in the space, curated as part of the Asia Pacific Design Library. Stephen Mushin’s fantastical approach to ecology has inspired a Tinker Space – a place where design thinking reigns, where whimsy, novelty and illogic mashes-up with hands-on craft to create some out-there thought experiments! Be sure to put your mark on the TinkerSpace wall when you visit.

The InfoZone has changed from quiet computer library to a raging river game space, thanks to Floyd Mueller’s exertion game ‘Hanging off a Bar’. Test your strength and endurance, compete with your mates and post a photo of your score with the hashtag #CUSPleaderboard to see how you stack up against other players Australia wide!

In the latest development for CUSP, Social Robotics designer and artist Mari Velonaki has unveiled a next-stage iteration of the Blue Iris project for the first time at SLQ. Currently installed as a single panel, it allows only a small glimpse of this complex research project that ultimately aims to create intelligent wallpaper, wallpaper that can sense the people inside a room and react to their emotions and physical states. Touch it and watch it respond to your hand with little snippets of poetic verse.
Blowing me away the most was the scale and the resources provided by the modestly titled SLQ. This library is definitely not just a library. Offering a true cornucopia of community resources, SLQ is a impressive public institution used by tens of thousands of local and international guests. SLQ stimulates all sorts of interaction, learning and participation in a host of ever-changing and always interesting programs and spaces; check out the latest events and learning opportunities on their website.

You feel design here, through the structure of the building. The Knowledge Walk connects streams of visitors to the zones of the space, at once outside and inside with its 4 storey high ceiling and open sides allowing the Brisbane breeze to filter through. Glass walls and filtered natural light spark curiosity…“what is inside there, or over there, or up there?”
The Asia Pacific Design Library and the Info Zone open up a world of history and current affairs in custom built serenity, with the Kids Zone set up cleverly nearby to motivate creative thought in our future adults. Nearby, the kuril dhagun indigenous learning space sits closest to the Brisbane River, a nucleus of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture that houses artefacts, designs and library. It is complete with a talking circle and fire pit outside for people to laugh, talk and share knowledge. The Edge lab downstairs hosts a full science, design and makerspace, where ideas like vegan leather and fungi chairs aren’t a dream…they are being made right now!

I spent the week there and still felt I hadn’t explored enough, so make sure that you make lots of time to dive as deep as you can into CUSP and SLQ.

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