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CAPITheticAL – Idea Competition For A Hypothetical Australian Capital City

CAPITheticAL invites you to look back at the big ideas that shaped our national capital and look forward to the big ideas that will shape our future cities in the 21st century and beyond.

In the lead up to Canberra’s Centenary celebrations in 2013, it is timely to consider the factors and influences that lead to the city’s creation.

Artists, graphic designers, architects, urban planners and environmentalists are invited to review Canberra’s history and help our nation imagine how a hypothetical national capital might be created today. Register now, entry is free.


The entry should demonstrate knowledge of the debates, influences and processes that led to the competition for the design of Canberra as Australia’s national capital. This demonstration may be written or presented graphically or may be a combination of presentation media.

CAPITheticAL invites responses to many questions, including:

  • Would you build a new capital today or could the Australian Federation be expressed in a different way?
  • Would it be a city in the conventional sense or not? If not, what form might it take?
  • What ideas would drive its design and development?
  • How would 21st century social, political and environmental factors influence the nature of the city?
  • Of what should the Australian national capital consist?

Here is a video description that will help you get a better understanding of the purpose of CAPITheticAL.


More than $100,000 has been provided for prizes in the competition. The first prize will be to the minimum value of $70,000.

Design students are encouraged to enter the competition, individually or in groups, and the Jury may award a student prize with a value of up to $10,000 where high quality submissions are received from design students.

Additional jury prizes, commendations or honourable mentions may be awarded to submissions of high quality.


  • To access the full competition brief you must register for the competition. The full competition brief contains all you need to know about entering CAPITheticAL.

How to enter?

A free registration on the official website is required to enter. Once you’re registered, you’ll be able to submit your entries.

Should you have any questions on the process, please email info [at] (please replace [at] with @).