Field Notes

Syd Mead | Progressions

Laguna College of Art + Design’s BFA program in Entertainment Design is proud to present Syd Mead / Progressions. This exhibition contains a retrospective of more than 50 years of artwork by Syd Mead. Visit LCAD Gallery located at 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach. The exhibition dates are February 3, 2022 to March 27, 2022.

You can experience this incredible gallery of gouache designs. “Works include drawings, color preliminaries, and finished paintings that capture everything from conceptual terrestrial and extraterrestrial vehicles, to interplanetary resort destinations.” Download the Oblagon AR app to see this online experience.


Sydney Jay Mead, commonly Syd Mead (July 18, 1933 – December 30, 2019 ), was a prolific and influential American “visual futurist”, industrial designer and a neofuturistic concept artist. He is best known for his designs for science-fiction films such as Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron. Of his work, Mead was once moved to comment: “I’ve called science fiction ‘reality ahead of schedule.'”

His works, many of which are critically acclaimed and highly regarded, have led to Mead being called “the artist who illustrates the future”. Syd Mead was born on July 18, 1933 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, but spent only a few years there before moving to what would be the second of many homes throughout the western United States prior to graduating from high school in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1951. After serving a three-year enlistment in the U.S. Army, Mead continued on to the Art Center School in Los Angeles (now the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena), where he graduated in June 1959. He was recruited by the Ford Motor Company’s Advanced Styling Studio under the management of Elwood Engel. Mead left the studio after two years to accept a variety of assignments to illustrate books and catalogues for large corporate entities such as United States Steel, Celanese, Allis-Chalmers and Atlas Cement. In 1970, he launched Syd Mead, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan to accommodate the offers he received, most notably from Philips Electronics. On December 30, 2019, Syd died in his Pasadena home at the age of 86, after three years of lymphoma. Shortly after his death, many paid tribute to Mead’s life.”

There are more people in the world who make things than there are people who think of things to make.”

— Syd Mead

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