Speed Limits is an exhibition devoted to the inescapable presence of speed in modern life, in art, architecture and urbanism, and in the graphic arts, economics, and the material culture of the industrial age and our own age of information. The exhibition spotlights the hundredth anniversary of Italian Futurism, the movement to which we owe the famous statement that appeared in its founding manifesto: “The world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty… the beauty of speed.”


Critical rather than commemorative in spirit, Speed Limits explores a single Futurist theme from the standpoint of its contemporary legacies. The exhibition probes the powers and limits of the modern era’s cult of speed in the domains of circulation and transit, construction and the built environment, efficiency, the measurement and representation of rapid motion, and the mind/body relationship. A variety of objects spanning a 100-year cultural history reveal the long-standing polarities and closely intertwined relationship between the fast and the slow.


Presented in the CCA’s main galleries, the exhibition features more than 240 objects from the collections of the CCA and The Wolfsonian, including books, photographs, advertising posters, architectural drawings, publications, and videos, which together illustrate the debate about speed and present a multifaceted view that is both a defence of speed and an implicit criticism of its negative effect on contemporary life. Covering the period from 1900 to the present, the exhibition analyzes the evolution of the process of production and construction, the beginnings of prefabrication, the household, traffic and transit, and the workplace, as viewed through the prism of speed, and focuses on the opposite poles of productivity and hyperactivity.

LOCATION / Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada
TYPE / Exhibition Design
SIZE / 4,500sf
STATUS / Completed 2009
ROLE / Design Architect & Architect of Record
CURATOR / Jeffrey Schnapp