The James Bond Villain is a manifestation of a paranoid cold war society, an imaginary enemy; the Villain who might bomb or use any other technocratic weapon to destroy western society. Since 1962 until 2015, 24 James Bond movies were created over a span of 50 years. Even after the Cold War was declared over, James Bond movies have remained a veritable catalogue of Cold War villains. Despite this retrospective compulsion, the genre has consistently used the language of modern architecture to visualize future built conditions.

The focus of this blog will analyze architectural responses to various crisis’ or projects that looked to solve a given problem of its time, built and un-built utopian schemes and the hypothetical lairs of the James Bond Villain’s. Examining built architectural responses to past crisis’ that either no longer serve their initial use, have failed or simply never lived up to their promise.  Now that these projects do not fulfill their initial use how do their architectural manifestations serve a purpose? Have these utopian architectural manifestations worked? What other architectural responses to crisis share similarities to the James Bond villain plot’s and lairs?

By interrogating normalized assumptions about highly complex political, economic and environmental issues and conditions, this blog questions our current architectural responses to today’s crisis and questions the predominant technocratic utilitarian view of the built environment.

The author: Anna Ulak graduated with a Master of Architecture from University of Toronto June 2011.  Currently she is based in Berlin expanding her architectural knowledge through practice, researching and writing this blog.