[Tom Vigar's (very) defensible suburban enclaves complete with bunkers and missile silos. All images by Tom Vigar.]

Caught somewhere between No-Stop City and an Everyday Virilio-ism, Tom Vigar's Master of Architecture thesis "Subtopian Dreams" at Sheffield University posits a shared economy (and landscape) of suburbia and military sites. Arguing the inevitable links and interdependence of one with the other, they could share the same territory in a cyclical symbiosis. Suburbia thrives on the technology transfer offered by the military, while the military conveniently hides behind the false front of oh-so-innocent suburbia.

[The shared infrastructures and economies of suburbia (top layer) with manufacturing (middle) and the military (bottom).]

Vigar writes:

The suburbanite is in a state of constant warfare against their neighbours, nature and terrorism. Luckily at the suburbanites command is a whole host of military developed technologies to help them rid all their work surfaces of 99.99% bacteria & maintain a sterile home whilst inadvertently helping to keep the war industries in business. Somehow we have confused the strict military ordering of things with the act of living!

[The 3 layers stacked into a hypothetical configuration called Suburbia 451.]

Seeking an optimal performing suburban pattern for the top layer, various network configurations are evaluated on the basis of defense and access. A combination of types becomes the chosen condition that is then mirrored and repeated. Meanwhile, below that cleansers and domestic technologies are being manufactured for consumption. And, yet again, meanwhile below that troops are training in subterranean bunkers for the next call-up. The military-industrial complex and the suburban-industrial complex unified in marital bliss.

[A suburban pattern language guaged by defensibility.]
[Typical section through Subtopia 451 with manufacturing, bunkers, missile silos.]
[After total war can come total living.]

Get in touch with him at t.vigar[at]gmail[dot]com.
And for more on defense infrastructures, we defer to our blog-colleague at Subtopia.


[...] is yet another project aimed at one-upping the suburbs, this time in the form of Tom Vigar's Master's Thesis at Sheffield University. Nicely illustrated, its had a bit of attention in the blogosphere [...]

urban anxieties | varnelis.net added these pithy words on Mar 11 09 at 10:56 pm

[...] Tom Vigar, "Subtpoian Dreams" / Project [...]

Worldtravel » Blog Archive » Military Suburbanism: How to Plan for Pure War added these pithy words on Jun 07 09 at 6:00 am

[...] InfraNet Lab [...]

tom vigar subtopian dreams « coromandal added these pithy words on Aug 12 09 at 11:39 pm

[...] también la tesis-proyecto "Subtopian Dreams" de Tom Vigar, que construye una mezcla entre suburbio y base militar (con silos de misiles [...]

Subtopia/urbanismo y arquitectura militar « economia urbana added these pithy words on Nov 02 09 at 4:08 am

[...] también la tesis-proyecto "Subtopian Dreams" de Tom Vigar, que construye una mezcla entre suburbio y base militar (con silos de misiles [...]

urbanismo militar y defensivo - Zoohaus added these pithy words on Nov 02 09 at 11:08 am

Fascinating! Is Tom's whole thesis available to read anywhere?

Seerov added these pithy words on Jan 18 09 at 4:28 am

Made me think! Also reminded me of Noah's Castle by John Rowe Townsend..

Jee Young Lee added these pithy words on Feb 19 09 at 7:59 pm

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