Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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Sorry, Out of Gas / Désolé, plus d'essence


Conference: 
MW2008
Institution: 
Canadian Centre for Architecture
Designer: 
Bluesponge
Why: 

The Canadian Centre for Architecture, in collaboration with Bluesponge, has created a bilingual microsite related to its current major exhibition, 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas. Accessible at www.sorryoutofgas.org and www.desoleplusdessence.org, the microsite offers an online companion to the timely exhibition and its catalogue exploring the architectural response to the 1973 oil crisis. In light of the relevance and international reach of the subject matter, the 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas microsite is a tool for dissemination of the content beyond the physical exhibition and catalogue. The site’s content offers two parallel sections, balancing the more academic material of the exhibition in "Sorry, Out of Gas" with the whimsical illustrations of "An Endangered Species," a component of the catalogue that introduces the subject to a younger audience. Both sections are equally accessible from any area of the microsite. The 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas exhibition aims to increase public awareness and encourage contemporary research by providing insight on the forerunners of many current approaches to sustainable living. "Sorry, Out of Gas" is a series of interactive visual representations which correspond to the principle themes presented in the exhibition galleries: Sun, Earth, Wind, and Integrated Systems. Each slideshow presents a selection of innovative architectural projects and research featured in the exhibition through images and concise texts. The transitions between each slide recall a vintage viewmaster or a manual slide projector: the slide flips down and lands with a slight clunk, in a subtle nod to the 1970s, pre-digital era. In parallel with "Sorry, Out of Gas" is the opportunity to fully explore a section of the exhibition catalogue entitled "An Endangered Species," a children’s story by British author and illustrator Harriet Russell. 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, the story appears as a book that can be browsed page by page and explored in detail through a simple, user-controlled magnifying tool. As an online complement to the exhibition and its catalogue, www.sorryoutofgas.org seeks to combine and contrast the personal character and insight of Harriet Russell’s illustrations with an overview of the exhibition themes in an engaging manner. The audio and navigational tools of the interactive design are evocative of the 1970s and true to the archival material presented in the exhibition. The microsite thus serves as an educational resource reaching children and making the topical and increasingly urgent subject matter accessible to the CCA’s international audience.

Nominated By: 
Year: 
2008