Designs for Canberra
Walter Scott Griffiths, along with Robert Charles Coulter and Charles Henry Caswell, entered the international Federal Capital City Design Competition in 1911.
Their entry was the first choice of the head of the judging panel but the other two judges selected Walter Burley Griffin's design as the winner and the Griffiths, Coulter and Caswell entry ultimately came fourth.
After the competition, Griffiths maintained his passionate interest in the design and construction of Canberra and, over the years, he further developed his alternative vision of Australia’s capital city. He gave illustrated lectures on his alternative vision on at least four occasions between May 1916 and November 1922.
His presentation included a set of 24 glass lantern slides, as featured in the curated collection. By using glass lantern slides containing detailed architectural drawings in his presentation, Griffiths was able to project his design for Canberra onto a screen for his audience, much like we do today when we give PowerPoint presentations.
By conducting his lecture in this way, Griffiths was able to compare and contrast his design with Walter Burley Griffin's and communicate the complex calculations he had made, to convince the audience of the superiority of his ideas.