The city of Canberra may be unfamiliar to many people overseas, but it seems plenty of international designers and architects are interested in how the city might look were it designed today.

The ACT Government’s centenary team has been chuffed at the response to the Capithetical competition, launched in May, which invites artists, graphic designers, architects, urban planners and environmentalists to imagine a hypothetical capital for the 21st century.

The city of Canberra may be unfamiliar to many people overseas, but it seems plenty of international designers and architects are interested in how the city might look were it designed today.
The ACT Government’s centenary team has been chuffed at the response to the Capithetical competition, launched in May, which invites artists, graphic designers, architects, urban planners and environmentalists to imagine a hypothetical capital for the 21st century.

So far, almost 500 groups and individuals have registered their interest as part of the two-year competition’s first stage, according to Chief Minister Katy Gallagher’s office.

And while most of the registrations have been from within Australia, there has also been interest from England, Poland, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain and Venezuela, among others.

The ACT Government’s chief executive of culture and communications, Jeremy Lasek, said the global reach of the competition recalled the scope of the original design competition for Canberra announced in 1910.

American Walter Burley Griffin won that competition, with Finnish and French runners-up.

That competition received 137 entries, and Mr Lasek said this time around, the centenary team was hoping for at least 100 official entries.

The wide scope of the competition had piqued the interest of all kinds of people, although the $100,000 prize was also a major drawcard.

BY SALLY PRYOR

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