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The Desert City Inspired by Dune

Andrew Kudless proposed city is inspired by the Fremen sietches of Frank Herbert's Dune, and he believes that the principles for conserving and storing water on Arrakis can be applied to the American desert.

Kudless, an architect with Matsys Design, created the Sietch Nevada concept with Dune in mind, analogizing the arid planet with the American Southwest:

Although this science fiction novel sounded alien in 1965, the concept of a water-poor world is quickly becoming a reality, especially in the American Southwest. Lured by cheap land and the promise of endless water via the powerful Colorado River, millions have made this area their home. However, the Colorado River has been desiccated by both heavy agricultural use and global warming to the point that it now ends in an intermittent trickle in Baja California. Towns that once relied on the river for water have increasingly begun to create underground water banks for use in emergency drought conditions. However, as droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, these water banks will become more than simply emergency precautions.


To that end, Sietch Nevada is based on the Fremen sietches, a city consisting of man-made caverns beneath the desert. Openings in the desert floor allow water to drain into underground canals, creating a water reserve for the city. But Kudless also imagines other desert cities might be envious of the Sietch's superior water conservation:

However, the Sietch is also a bunker-like fortress preparing for the inevitable wars over water in the region.


Sietch Nevada [Mastys Design via Building Blog]

Illustration for article titled The Desert City Inspired by Dune
Illustration for article titled The Desert City Inspired by Dune
Illustration for article titled The Desert City Inspired by Dune

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And just how will people living in glass bubbles defend themselves in these inevitable water wars? Locked doors and harsh language? He might want to back off on that part of the pitch until he actually studies siege tactics.