The television adaptation of William Gibson’s The Peripheral is currently seated at number nine on Rotten Tomatoes, “25 Most Popular TV Shows (Rotten Tomatoes, 2022).”

Without spoiling the depth and complexity of the series, Peripheral is a mind-bending cyberpunk sci-fi that spirals users through the lens of technology and into the not-so-distance future. The story follows Flynne Fisher, a young woman with a talent for gaming portrayed by Chloë Grace Moretz, her veteran brother, and his friends as they navigate perils, past, present, and future. The following will briefly explore The Peripheral’s architectural environment revealed in Episodes one through five and offer insight into its architectural history to enhance the viewing experience.

Architectural Essentiality | The Peripheral

An architectural review of The Peripheral - Sheet1
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The year is 2032, and twenty-something-year-old Flynne works a dead-end job at a 3D print shop to support her family. The world has transitioned into an exacerbated version of the present. Rivers run brown with pollutants, pharmaceuticals are virtually unattainable without illicit transactions, and virtual reality is the future. 

An architectural review of The Peripheral - Sheet2
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Flynne’s life is deeply nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural North Carolina. The architectural environment has evolved similarly to Flynne and her family, adding, altering, and repurposing out of necessity. What has to be done must be done to survive. 

In the case of Flynne’s place of work, the street view appears to be frozen in its original state. It is a symbolic representation of essentiality. While time progresses and deteriorates the exterior, only the essential elements are modified. In the series, the 3D print shop is a converted space within a “Coal, Feed & Lumber” mill. Discolouring corrugated metal exterior wraps the second story above the facility, and a rusting garage door sits to the right with an 18-19th century brick structure connecting at the left. The sight line rolls across the scene to the land on the facility’s glass storefront, which displays the “Forever Fab 3D Printing” in a bold 70s style font.

The facility’s more modern additions to the exterior are only present where direct human interaction is necessary. There is no decorative embellishment beyond what is needed to make the business function. 

The interior resembles a 70s-era office building. Guests are confronted by veneered and boldly coloured reception desk glass walls and multiple rows of 3-D printers. An overflow row of 3-D printers and seated directly adjacent to the entrance, with a row of wood chairs reminiscent of a 60s office building now in front of it in panelled pine walls wrapping the entire interior. Like the exterior, the interior feel stuck in a former decade, and renovations only pertain to essential functionality.

Future Revival

An architectural review of The Peripheral - Sheet3
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Through Flynne’s eyes, the audience travels to post-apocalyptic London in the 2100s, where the architectural landscape has become a reflection of the history it bloomed from. 

Peripheral London’s skyline is dotted with classically-inspired sculptures hundreds of feet high. Backlit by flickers of futurism, the city has experienced a classical revival following a society-altering event. Replicas of notable Greek sculptural figures such as Discobolus of Myron and Venus de Milo overwhelm the skyline shadowing the audience with a sense of omnipotence likely to have greater meaning as the series progresses. 

The exact origins of the statues have yet to be revealed. However, it is clear that the sculptures solidify carbon from the air and trap it – presumably within the crystalline structures at the base of the statues. In Future London, the audience witnesses the compounding effects hinted at in 2032 North Carolina. Pollutants in this era are so potent that they require air scrapers hundreds of stories tall to mitigate the issue. This sculptural aesthetic of the structures makes artful use of the necessity of air scrapers, but what brought about the Greek revival style?

Revival styles, like any alternative style, tend to emerge as a schism or opponent to whatever type is prominent at that time. Since society’s fall occurs in a parallel future, technology has likely advanced exponentially. Like with deconstructivism and neo-futurism trends today, it’s likely that architecture in peripheral’s London reflected its cultural present. After the collapse, society rejected its former tech-inspired architectural nature and returned to classicism for inspiration.

Final Thoughts | The Peripheral

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Though the classic group figures looming in the sky feel rather foreboding, the sentiment is understandable. After the catastrophic cultural thread looks too, it’s a simpler past for comfort. In the 18th century, as modern America was planting its roots, a similar return to classicism took the architectural stage. The Greeks were the first to popularize democracy; thus, Roman Greece became synonymous with a strong democratic history. Like 18 century America, Peripheral’s future post-apocalypse London seeks to align itself with the strength in the legend of classic Greek revival architecture.

The series is merely at the halfway point and will undoubtedly have much more detail to unveil. Thus far, the architectural landscape seems detailed and reasonably well thought out. Through this series, architects can imaginatively explore the future of tech-based architecture and sharpen their eyes by scouting details in the environment that reveal more about the characters and their elusive backstories.

Reference list:

Dishner, J. (n.d.). Greek Revival Architecture. [online] HGTV. Available at:

Rotten Tomatoes (2022). 20 Most Popular TV Shows Right Now: Top Series Everyone’s Watching. [online] Rotten Tomatoes. Available at:


Tinia Marlena is a talented, young Interior Architect, Interdisciplinary Sustainability Consultant, and Storyteller. Her words uncannily reach into the theoretical to manifest seemingly tangible realities. She is a passionate environmentalist who creatively weaves her diverse aptitudes into a signature blend of imagination and vision. In her free time, she enjoys exploring mediums of creative movement and designing eco-conscious compact living environments.