(Never apologise for weak puns when writing about Bond.)
It was very annoying to notice the Ken Adam discussion with Christopher Frayling at the V&A too late to attend, but it sounds like it was good. In Who Stole My Volcano? Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dematerialisation of Supervillain Architecture, Matt Jones noted that Frayling (his book on Adam is very good) commented in passing that "the modern Bond villain (and he might have added, villains in pop culture in general) is placeless, ubiquitous, mobile".
Matt entertainingly explores the idea of the grand architectural gestures - under-volcano bunkers, sub-swallowing ships and other "gantries and Baroque" - de-materialising and dispersing into networks, mobile phones, briefcases, go-bags, spreadsheets, etc. And perhaps also into the sports franchises and art objects so loved of those who are as rich as supervillains. It's good stuff.
But a problem remains for the film-maker: how to show us multiplicity, power and scale (Mr White in Quantum of Solace: "we are everywhere") - and how to do it with Adamian grandeur and spectacle - in a world whose secret mountain redoubts and dark-side moon bases have been somewhat disappointingly replaced by the physical objects of ubiquitous computing and the ubiquitous metaphoric objects of power...
So satellite imagery abounds, and those terse-but-narratively-essential phone calls beloved of 24 get added to the mix. The villain becomes the panopti-cratic eye; you see much re-working of the conspiracy thrillers of the 70s - Enemy of the State, Bourne passim. And, picking up on Dan's work on wi-fi shapes in public spaces, the use of menacing penumbral aurae would have been a more effective visualisation than the distracting touch-table that M16 toy with. But more is required. Plot also drives forward quickly, the edit is much faster - see Bourne, and the godfather of the edit, Murch the gun-slinger.)
One solution in the Quantum of Solace film isn't bad - the many members of the villainous organisation conduct a board meeting hidden in plain view in the audience of an opera, its set a monstrous eye staring at them. They mutter managerially about logistics and financing on earpieces, and Bond's immediate job is to reveal them against the camouflaging ground of hundreds of fellow evening-weared Euro-elites. It's the best sequence of a good film, though it's a little disappointing that both Bond and the villains are disciplined enough not to be distracted by the opera they're attending.
Though they're often sneered at these days, you could argue that the use of gadgets in previous Bond films represented an acknowledgement of this globalising, dispersing effect: Q is everywhere, Bond in some sense became his magnetised watches, exploding pens and performative quips. But the books didn't go in for gadgets much, and generally the Quantum of Solace film also turns away from these and back toward the architectural. Steve Rose notes that the recent films have seen Bond visit and destroy as much villain-architecture as ever ("The villains are the creators; Bond is the destroyer. He's basically an enemy of architecture"), and suggests this can be traced back to Fleming's difficulties with Modernist architects.