January 14, 2008 - Canadian Centre for Architecture - Launches exhibition website
January 14, 2008

Launches exhibition website

Launches exhibition website


1920, rue Baile
Montreal, Québec, Canada
H3H 2S6
514 939 7026


The Canadian Centre for Architecture announces the launch of a bilingual microsite related to its current major exhibition, 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas. Accessible at www.sorryoutofgas.org , the microsite offers an online complement to the timely exhibition and its catalogue exploring the architectural response to the 1973 oil crisis. The exhibition remains on view in the CCA’s main galleries until 20 April 2008.

Designed to make the exhibition content available to a broader international public, www.sorryoutofgas.org features some of the most innovative architectural projects and research triggered by the 1973 energy crisis. Represented are works by Steve Baer and Michael Jantzen using passive and active solar systems, Malcolm Wells’ explorations in underground architecture, the energy independent homes built of recycled materials by Michael Reynolds, unprecedented experiments applying wind technology in urban settings, new social models based on integrated systems developed by several forward-thinking groups, and other innovations of the era. The website content is organised along the same four main principle themes seen in the exhibition galleries: Sun, Earth, Wind, and Integrated Systems.

A central feature of the microsite is the opportunity to fully explore the catalogue section “An Endangered Species,” a children’s story by British author and illustrator Harriet Russell. Specifically commissioned by the CCA, the story uses humour and irony to describe the role of oil in daily life and to suggest alternatives to this rapidly diminishing resource. Presented in its entirety online, users can browse the story page by page and explore details of the text and drawings through a magnified view.

As an introduction to the ideas and findings presented in 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas, the microsite further serves the concerns of the exhibition curators by exposing the research and innovations of thirty years ago to a new generation. “It is of vital importance to consider the radical yet, in many cases, little-known work from the 1970s as architects today struggle to address similar issues,” said CCA director Mirko Zardini, who curated the exhibition with Giovanna Borasi, CCA Curator of Contemporary Architecture. “The crisis we are facing in the year 2007,” he continued, “has all the features that emerged in 1973. However, today’s energy problem is accompanied by a heightened environmental crisis that is plain for all to see.”

The microsite was designed by Bluesponge, a Montréal-based firm specialising in the development of interactive solutions. Founded in 2000, Bluesponge has been honoured on numerous occasions, winning awards from Boomerang, Canadian New Media, and Communication Arts Magazine.


Organised by the CCA, 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas is the first exhibition to study the architectural innovation spurred by the 1973 oil crisis, when the value of oil increased exponentially and triggered economic, political, and social upheaval across the world. Featuring over 350 objects including architectural drawings, photographs, books and pamphlets, archival television footage, and historical artefacts, the exhibition maps the global response to the shortage and its relevance to architecture today. Occupying the CCA’s main galleries, 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas is curated by Mirko Zardini, CCA Director and Chief Curator, with Giovanna Borasi, CCA Curator of Contemporary Architecture.


1973: Sorry, Out of Gas is the third in a series of thematic exhibitions organised by the CCA to explore contemporary issues in architecture with a specific focus on urban, social, and environmental concerns. It follows Environment: Approaches for Tomorrow (2006) and Sense of the City (2005), the groundbreaking exhibition dedicated to the sensory dimensions of urban life that have traditionally been ignored or repressed.

The CCA is an international research centre and museum founded in 1979 on the conviction that architecture is a public concern. Based on its extensive collections, the CCA is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening thought and debate on the art of architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society today.

Canadian Centre for Architecture
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