550 Circuitry



Fiona Hooton


Painted steel






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Canberra is a city synonymous with architecture and politics; it is frequently described as lacking a heart and soul.

I have long been fascinated by the shared metaphors of bodies and cities, their bypasses and arterial roads. You can trace these metaphors back to William Harvey’s dangerous discovery in 1628, that it is the heart, which functions to circulate the blood and not the soul. Interestingly, Christopher Wren, the famous English architect did many of the drawings for Harvey’s publication, De Motu Cordis, Concerning the Motion of the Heart and Blood.

If you peel back the skin of the city the structure of the grid is revealed. The grid structure has fleshed out human achievement through time and space: from the brick to the tablet, longitude to the world wide web and typeface to cloud space. Circuitry draws on these ideas to illustrate the many connections between our bodies and our cities and how they shape one another.

Cities exist as a function of the circulation of people and the circuitry of information. Probing the question, can we create a model of the city in which we as dwellers can influence its values as well as its forms?

In the middle of a transport hub, Circuitry is a symbol of Canberra’s beating heart and soul.

Fiona Hooton
Circuitry, 2001
Painted steel
Civic Bus Interchange, corner of Alinga and Mort Streets, Civic