Syd Mead, visionary artist of the future, has died.
December 30, 2019 3:18 PM   Subscribe

Syd Mead, the visionary artist and designer behind Blade Runner, Tron, Aliens, and Star Trek, has died.
posted by pashdown (59 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, damn. That’s a huge loss. The guy basically illustrated everyone’s vision of the future.

.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:23 PM on December 30 [2 favorites]


🚀
posted by adamrice at 3:30 PM on December 30


The design in the various Mass Effectses is basically Syd Mead fanfic.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:35 PM on December 30 [4 favorites]


I never met him but I still want the future he promised to eight year old me.
posted by mhoye at 3:38 PM on December 30 [4 favorites]


I at least want large signage that informs me what level I'm on, or which specific door that very large door is.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:46 PM on December 30 [6 favorites]


I once got fan mail *from* Syd Mead for a dumb little internet thing I made and nearly melted: my house was full of prints and magazines with his 80s concept art growing up and I had no idea until much later that it was all one brilliant artist’s work.
posted by migurski at 4:05 PM on December 30 [16 favorites]


.
posted by valkane at 4:09 PM on December 30


.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:12 PM on December 30


.
posted by coppertop at 4:14 PM on December 30


Oh no, this makes me sad. The weird thing perhaps is that the work of his that first comes to mind for me is, of all things, Turn A Gundam, which was kind of a formative work for me in many ways. In some ways, it actually kind of engaged with Mead’s work more directly and explicitly than most of the other stuff he worked on — characters would actually comment on the weird appearance of the mechanical designs at times, but somehow they grew on me over time. It was also arguably the least obviously “future” of the settings he worked with, given that much of the world of the show was roughly 1900-ish US-ish.

It’s somehow quietly appropriate (or deeply tragic) that one of the people out there most responsible for visions of what The Future would look like would die just short of living in the year 2020, which will arguably be the last date most of us will see that sounds like a The Future year.

Thanks for all the weird, beautiful visions of the future, Syd.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:22 PM on December 30 [1 favorite]


.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:23 PM on December 30


.
posted by /\/\/\/ at 4:35 PM on December 30


.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:11 PM on December 30


.
posted by egypturnash at 5:46 PM on December 30


.
posted by lemon_icing at 6:27 PM on December 30


The man was a legend. There's so much science fiction that owes its overall look to him.

.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:28 PM on December 30


.
posted by ckape at 6:32 PM on December 30


It’s somehow quietly appropriate (or deeply tragic) that one of the people out there most responsible for visions of what The Future would look like would die just short of living in the year 2020, which will arguably be the last date most of us will see that sounds like a The Future year.

At least he got to see November 2019, for better or worse.

But yes, my first thought on hearing of Mr. Mead's death was, oddly enough, the M*A*S*H episode "Death Takes A Holiday". It's my hope that the doctors taking care of him did a similar thing: looked at the death certificate after he had breathed his last and said "You know what? Close enough. He deserves it. Let's call it 12:00 AM January 1, 2020."

(sydmead.com is currently overwhelmed, but the archive.org mirror of his work is up.)

Goodbye, Mr. Mead. Thank you for shaping so many of my dreams, both asleep and awake.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 6:58 PM on December 30 [2 favorites]


It would be nice if the obit writer at Heavy.com had gotten her facts about Mead right. He designed the spaceship Leonov for 2010: Odyssey Two, not Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He designed V'ger for ST:TMP.

.
posted by bryon at 7:11 PM on December 30 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 7:19 PM on December 30


.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:23 PM on December 30


.
posted by Foosnark at 7:28 PM on December 30


.
posted by Songdog at 7:34 PM on December 30


.
posted by sleeping bear at 7:54 PM on December 30


.

I liked his future best.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:57 PM on December 30 [4 favorites]


.
posted by condour75 at 7:58 PM on December 30


.
posted by limeonaire at 8:42 PM on December 30


Not only too cool for this world, but for this time.

🚀
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:54 PM on December 30


The MCP is waiting at the Tannhauser Gate, Mr. Mead.
posted by oneironaut at 8:56 PM on December 30 [1 favorite]


.
posted by evilDoug at 9:06 PM on December 30


.
posted by gwint at 9:22 PM on December 30


This made me really sad.
posted by bongo_x at 10:31 PM on December 30


.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:47 PM on December 30


.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:20 PM on December 30


.
posted by Sphinx at 11:40 PM on December 30


For anyone involved with futuristic design in contemporary movies, he was a Titan, universally respected and influential in a way few conceptual artists ever truly achieve. A genuine creative hero to so many.

🧿
posted by dbiedny at 12:32 AM on December 31


.
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:48 AM on December 31


.
posted by pt68 at 2:12 AM on December 31


.
posted by cupcakeninja at 2:31 AM on December 31


.
posted by filtergik at 4:08 AM on December 31


I'm imagining him leaving in a spinner.

.
posted by drnick at 4:14 AM on December 31


.
posted by jpziller at 5:11 AM on December 31


One of the reasons the Lotus Espirit (70s-80s version) will forever be my favourite car design is because it looks like Mead designed it. Even down to the god damn gear-shaped gas tank cap.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:31 AM on December 31 [1 favorite]


.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:53 AM on December 31


Ω
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:56 AM on December 31


I thought he worked on Star Wars (or, to give it its proper name, Star Wars, you know, the first one) - my brain is giving me concept art of See Threepio and Artoo Detoo attributed to him, but there's no mention anywhere - is it just a brain-glitch I'm having?
posted by Grangousier at 7:10 AM on December 31


.

Grangousier, you may be thinking of Ralph McQuarrie. The only thing of Mead's that made it into the Star Wars films was a design he made for a US Steel brochure in the late 1960s that inspired the design of the AT-AT walkers. He did have an illustration that showed up in a 2010 Star Wars art book also.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:21 AM on December 31 [1 favorite]


Yes, you are right and I'm an addle-brained fool.
posted by Grangousier at 7:40 AM on December 31 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Token Meme at 8:22 AM on December 31


.
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 9:43 AM on December 31


.

posted by Guy Smiley at 12:10 PM on December 31


.
posted by detachd at 12:20 PM on December 31


Such an Amazing visionary.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:41 PM on December 31


.
posted by tychotesla at 8:32 PM on December 31


.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:55 PM on December 31


.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 8:36 AM on January 1


.
posted by Bron at 10:25 AM on January 3


.
posted by HycoSpeed at 7:06 AM on January 5


Man how did I miss this.

.
posted by jquinby at 6:47 AM on January 11


« Older the masterworks of the earliest years of animation   |   Ouroboros of insta Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.