Blade Runner artist shaped sci-fi landscape in movies

LOS ANGELES • American visual artist Syd Mead, who was behind the movie Blade Runner (1982) and credited with shaping the sci-fi landscape with his futuristic movie designs, has died at 86 in California.

Mead, who worked on films including Aliens (1986), Tron (1982) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), died on Monday following a battle with lymphoma cancer, according to multiple news outlets.

A post on Mead's Facebook page confirmed the news, with the words "Syd Mead 1933-2019" .

Mead had started his career in industrial design for the car and electronics industries, working for Ford, Chrysler, Sony and Philips, before switching to film.

His concept art for a dystopian future Los Angeles in Ridley Scott's neo-noir classic Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford, won widespread acclaim.

He retired in September last year.

News of his death was mourned by leading figures across the car and entertainment sectors.

"Rest in peace Syd Mead. Your art will endure," tweeted Tesla founder Elon Musk.

"He was one of the greatest designers and futurists of our time," wrote Mr John McElroy, publisher of the website Autoline, who first broke the news.

Art Directors Guild president Nelson Coates in November called Mead "one of the most influential concept artists and industrial designers of our time".

Mead's recent movie art credits included Mission: Impossible III (2006), Elysium (2013) and acclaimed 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2020, with the headline 'Blade Runner artist shaped sci-fi landscape in movies '. Subscribe