David Monteyne is Associate Professor teaching history and theory of architecture and urbanism in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. He has published articles in the Journal of Architectural Education, Philosophical Forum, BC Studies, and the SSAC Bulletin. He did his B.A. (English) and a Master’s in architectural history at UBC. He completed his PhD in American Studies at the University of Minnesota. The book being discussed tonight was based on his dissertation there.
Fallout Shelter:Designing for Civil Defense in the Cold War
David Monteyne traces the partnership that developed between architects and United States civil defense authorities during the 1950s and 1960s. Officials in the federal government tasked with protecting American citizens and communities in the event of a nuclear attack relied on architects and urban planners to demonstrate the importance and efficacy of both purpose-built and ad hoc fallout shelters. For architects who participated in this federal effort, their involvement in the national security apparatus granted them expert status in the Cold War. The partnership between architecture and civil defense helped guide professional design practice and influenced the perception and use of urban and suburban spaces. One result was a much-maligned bunker architecture, which was not so much a particular style as a philosophy of building and urbanism that shifted focus from nuclear annihilation to urban unrest.