First reported by Autoline’s John McElroy on Facebook, Futurist Syd Mead passed away this morning in his Pasadena, California home. He was 86 years old. Famous for his futuristic renderings seen in movies and concept art, Mead studied at Art Center School (now the Art Center College of Design) before joining Ford Motor Company’s design studio. He later worked independently as an automotive design engineer for clients such as U.S. Steel, a move that launched his career on several paths, including working for Hollywood. Perhaps his best known work is the “Spinner” flying car from Bladerunner, while Mead’s list of credits are too numerous to count.
Mead was always in love with transportation design and was given an EyesOnDesign lifetime achievement award in 2017. According to the official biography on his website, “Syd Mead seldom misses an opportunity to provide his unique blend of futurism and believability to those projects consisting of a vehicle that travels from “A” to “B.” His prolific amount of production spanned all forms of media and industry, and leaves an indelible mark on multiple generations of futurists and designers. Mead officially retired at the end of 2018, but as McElroy states, “His work and influence will outlive him forever.”