Farewell to Syd Mead, Concept Artist of Blade Runner and Tron


Syd Mead, concept artist and designer who helped create the futuristic aspect of science fiction cinema classics such as Blade Runner and Aliens – Final Clash passed away yesterday at the age of 86. This was announced by a representative of the Art Director Guild, who was supposed to honor Mead in February with the William Cameron Menzies Award.

Syd Mead died yesterday in Pasadena, California, due to some complications related to the lymphoma from which he was afflicted and for which he had undergone several treatments last year. Mead was known as a ‘visual futurist’, whose concept art and architectural backgrounds are the basis of Ridley Scott’s science fiction classics as well as other films such as 2010, TRON and Star Trek. He has recently been a consultant for films such as Tomorrowland, Elysium and Blade Runner 2049.

In particular, he worked with Ridley Scott on the design of buildings for Blade Runner, with Steven Lisberger on the light cycles in TRON and with James Cameron on the appearance of the USS Sulaco in Aliens.

Before working in the cinema and video game industry, Syd Dead worked with high-tech and automotive companies in the visual part for Ford, Sony, US Steel, Philips Electronics, Minolta, Dentsu, Honda, Chrysler, and Playboy.

In 2018 he was awarded an award for excellence in production design for his work in Blade Runner 2049, and in 2016 the Visual Effects Society awarded him the Visionary Award. Syd Mead in 2018 published his autobiography, entitled A Future Remembered.