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A Capital Idea

Launched last week in Canberra, a new competition is asking designers and artists to create a concept for a contemporary capital city.

A Capital Idea


May 11th, 2011

CAPITheticAL comes 100 years after the launch of the original design competition that created Australia’s capital city, and it aims to celebrate, challenge and extend modes of thinking about how national capitals are imagined.


“CAPITheticAL provides an opportunity for the world’s best thinkers and designers to let their imaginations soar once again – to consider and present 21st century ideas addressing the kinds of challenges that would be faced if they were placed in that situation today,” said Centenary of Canberra Creative Director Robyn Archer.

“Many of the issues 2011 entrants will have to take into consideration will be different from those 100 years ago: climate change will be at the top of that list, but so will the digital and communications revolution,” Archer said.

“What will remain the same are the universal questions that the original international competitors faced: what does a capital mean, of what should it consist, is it more than just a seat of government? Walter Burley Griffin’s winning designs [pictured above] responded clearly to these challenges.”

The competition will continue over the next 2 years, with Stage one entries due on 31 January 2012 and winners announced internationally in March 2013.


Centenary of Canberra

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