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1973: Sorry, Out of Gas
Exploration of the architectural response to the 1973 oil crisis
Steffen Böddeker, October 1, 2007
Solar collectors installed on roof top at 519 East 11th Street, NYC, ca. 1976. Jon Naar
Solar collectors installed on roof top at 519 East 11th Street, NYC, ca. 1976. Jon Naar
 
1973: Sorry, Out of Gas and its accompanying publication combine 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.

George Löf, designer and engineer with glass plate used in solar collectors. House of George Löf, Denver, Colorado, 1975_Jon Naar
George Löf, designer and engineer with glass plate used in solar collectors. House of George Löf, Denver, Colorado, 1975_Jon Naar
 
American President Jimmy Carter dedicates the White House solar panels, 20 June 1979_Jimmy Carter Library
American President Jimmy Carter dedicates the White House solar panels, 20 June 1979_Jimmy Carter Library
 
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