CAPITheticAL Design Competition - Melbourne / Currumbin / Canberra

For the 2013 Centenary of Canberra, we entered a design competition to design a hypothetical Australian Capital City, collaborating with David Lock AssociatesARUP and other individuals. Our approached focussed on community engagement and participation as an architectural, urban design and town planning imperative for real and effective democracy.

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.

For Stage 2, our team from David Lock Associateshere 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.

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.

Our entry, The Engagement Studio, was shortlisted at the Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 17 May 2012. Our final submission, along with the short film by Natalie Erika James was exhibited at the Gallery of Australian Design from 6 March to 11 May 2013.

You can also read about our entry at the sceptical futuryst.


November 2011 - March 2013


Ammon Beyerle, Michelle Emma James, Vignesh Prasad Chandrasekran


David Lock Associates (David Klingberg, Amruta Pandhe, Tadhg Daly, Rupert Dance, Max Walton, Tamara Lowen, Kathryn Cuddihy) & ARUP (Andrew Wisdom, Svenja Keele, Stuart Candy), & Dani Sirotic