A Roving Capital Idea for Australia

In Stage 1 of the CAPITheticAL competition, we proposed the idea of a roving capital. The capital would move to a new location every fifteen years to address a particular national issue.

We presented this idea over 4 newspaper pages – each page a moment in the process – the idea, the engagement and events, the first day in the new capital and finally, the legacy left behind. We chose Currumbin in the Gold Coast as the first roving capital, which would address the issue of climate change and explore what an eco-city would be like.

Capithetical_4 Panels_FINAL 1Capithetical_4 Panels_FINAL 2Capithetical_4 Panels_FINAL 3Capithetical_4 Panels_FINAL 4

View our full Stage 1 submission here

For Stage 2, our team from David Lock Associates, here studio and ARUP decided to actually go to Currumbin to act out this process – we wanted to see what would happen, who we might meet, and what we might learn.


filmmaker Natalie Erika James

We’re very excited that our entry, The Engagement Studio, was shortlisted for CAPITheticAL, a design ideas competition for a hypothetical Australian capital city. The shortlisted finalists were announced at the Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 17 May 2012.

The jury (Dr Catherin Bull AM, Councillor John McInerney, Callum Morton, Professor Barbara Norman and Professor Alastair Swayn) selected the finalists from a pool of 41 student entries and 73 open category entries. Entries were received from 24 different countries, including the United States, Canada, Scotland and the United Kingdom and New Zealand, as well as throughout Europe – including France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Russia – and throughout Asia and the Middle East, including China, India, Malaysia and Kazakhstan. In addition, 74 entries were received from Australian participants, including seven entries from Canberra.

The shortlisted entries are currently on exhibition at the Gallery of Australian Design (GAD) from 6 March to 11 May 2013 as part of the Centenary of Canberra.