Take a poll among car designers to name their greatest influence, and one name is sure to appear at the top of the list: Syd Mead.
The car designer, illustrator and futurist has inspired generations of the men and women who shape the cars we drive or admire. Syd has created the designs for the movies Blade Runner and Tron, while the illustrations published in his books such as Oblagon and Sentury (sought-after collector items today) depict the vision of a future dominated by superior technology and aesthetics. In his world, we would be flying supersonic planes, we would be traveling in bullet trains and in luxury cars cruising along easily at triple-digit velocities. And what a shame we don't.
Today, Syd is working on projects with different clients, he continues to give lectures across the country and beyond and he gives advice to young designers who continue to take inspiration in his work and art. Last fall, his exhibition Progressions was shown at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit.
Living in a Howard-Roark-style home in the foothills of Los Angeles with his partner Roger Servick, Syd owns a collection of classic American automobiles which includes a 1957 Turnpike Cruiser and a 1972 Imperial. Today, he turns 80.