1973: Sorry, Out of Gas captures 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, it maps the global response to the shortage and its relevance to architecture today.

1973: Sorry, Out of Gas combines investigations from diverse fields, including the development and applications of both active and passive solar technologies, experiments with earth shelter building, improvements in insulation and construction materials, advances in wind power technology, and the design of “integrated systems” to manage energy sources in larger contexts. The exhibition captures the global social and political response to the oil crisis through footage of impassioned television speeches, historic photographs recording lines at gas stations and streets emptied of cars, and documentation of U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s 1979 installation of solar panels on the White House roof – including one of the original panels (later removed by Carter’s successor Ronald Reagan). The impact of the crisis on Western popular culture is represented by a selection of the era’s board games, whose themes and titles capture the anxiety of a new lifestyle and reflect the profits of oil suppliers, as well as promotional materials such as advertising campaigns and brochures.

A website created by Bluesponge, www.sorryoutofgas.org, accompanies the exhibition and features the full catalogue contribution by Harriet Russell alongside selected images from the exhibition.

Curators: Giovanna Borasi and Mirko Zardini, CCA.
Exhibition design: Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, Montreal.
Graphic design: Zab Design & Typography, Winnipeg.

Gallery tour by Mirko Zardini

Exhibition curator Mirko Zardini gives a tour of the exhibition.


Related events

Related articles


Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

This email was permanently deleted from our database. If you’d like to resubscribe with this email, please contact us

Please complete the form below to buy:
[Title of the book, authors]
ISBN: [ISBN of the book]
Price [Price of book]

First name
Last name
Address (line 1)
Address (line 2) (optional)
Postal code
Email address
Phone (day) (optional)

Thank you for placing an order. We will contact you shortly.

We’re not able to process your request at the moment. Please try again later.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least 2 weeks for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least 48 hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)