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Syd Mead, Renowned Artist & Designer, Dies at 86

Legendary Sci-Fi conceptual artist, designer, and Self-proclaimed ‘Visual Futurist’ Syd Mead has passed away at age 86. Complications from his three-year battle with lymphoma is being reported as the cause.

Syd Mead is well known among our community for his work on ‘Aliens,’ where he developed the designs for the Sulaco spaceship exterior and interior, as well as concepts for the cryosleep pods, dropship, and APC.

 Syd Mead, Renowned Artist & Designer, Dies at 86

Concept Artwork for the ‘Sulaco’ Spaceship from Aliens. By Syd Mead.

His contributions to film are many, including other Sci-fi titles such as Blade Runner, Tron, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Elysium, and others.

Mead also had some involvement with the 2013 Gearbox Software game Aliens: Colonial Marines, elaborating on the interiors of his Sulaco designs as well as creating art for a new ship in the game.

 Syd Mead, Renowned Artist & Designer, Dies at 86

The Weyland-Yutani Research Frigate, for the game Aliens: Colonial Marines. By Syd Mead.

Charles de Lauzirika, who interviewed Mead for his behind-the-scenes documentary for the Alien films, commented on his passing via Twitter.

A hardcover book collecting his art and career, ‘The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Visual Futurist’ was released back in 2017. Mead Also released his autobiography ‘A Future Remembered’ in 2018.

The staff and community of AvPGalaxy would like to give our thoughts and condolences to Mead’s family and friends. His visions will continue to enthrall us.



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Comments: 28
  1. AVP-CAPCOM
    You got to remember his work on ALIENS (the movie) also included designing the dropship, where he went as far as to visit El Toro marine and airforce base to research.

    I recall Mead saying the final (James Cameron) design of the fictional dropship was "too spindly" in some respects. But you could argue it was because Cameron was aiming for a Vietnam asthetic- Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter meets F-4 Phantom II fighter. I think to imagine if Mead had 100% control of the dropship design it would be like the Japanese movie GUNHED (1989 film heavily influenced in design by Cameron and Mead's 1986 ALIENS) meets, what we would see in, Prometheus.
    https://avp.fandom.com/wiki/Syd_Mead

    And I heard, in the retrospective ALIENS documentary, that when building the practical dropship set- they used parts from actual RAF B2 Vulcan bombers being decomissioned at RAF Marham Norfolk UK. I used to live and visit there, as one of my parents worked on the base during the time of the film makers, sourcing spare parts for said film props! Could explain my fascination with military science fiction films.  ::)

    RIP Syd Mead.
  2. StrangeShape
    Oh nooooo...:(  I just found out today otherwise I would have posted something about it too. Had an honor interviewing him. Ugh, why are those deseases getting everyone. Rest in peace, you will be always remembered for your contributions
  3. Perfect-Organism
    Very sad loss.  I met Syd Mead in Detroit a few years back, but I studied his work extensively back in the mid-90’s.  He was always a great inspiration to me on a personal level as a designer.  Farewell.
  4. Voodoo Magic
    This is so sad. First Larry Paull. Now Syd Mead.

    Rest in Peace Syd. :'(

    Larry, Syd and Rutger Hauer. Is the year 2019 some kind of Blade Runner curse?

    RIP Mr. Mead.



    Yep, I noticed the same thing...  :'(

    So just very sad.

    Syd. Larry. Rutger. The Blade Runner alumni has lost some real greats this year.

    Yeah, just saw your second post now. Lets all hope Riddles doesn't party too hard tonight, there's only a few more hours left to go then he's Scott free!

    Trying.. not...... to laugh....
  5. The Eighth Passenger
    This is so sad. First Larry Paull. Now Syd Mead.

    Rest in Peace Syd. :'(

    Larry, Syd and Rutger Hauer. Is the year 2019 some kind of Blade Runner curse?

    RIP Mr. Mead.



    Yep, I noticed the same thing...  :'(

    So just very sad.

    Syd. Larry. Rutger. The Blade Runner alumni has lost some real greats this year.

    Yeah, just saw your second post now. Lets all hope Riddles doesn't party too hard tonight, there's only a few more hours left to go then he's Scott free!
  6. Voodoo Magic
    This is so sad. First Larry Paull. Now Syd Mead.

    Rest in Peace Syd. :'(

    Larry, Syd and Rutger Hauer. Is the year 2019 some kind of Blade Runner curse?

    RIP Mr. Mead.

    Yep, I noticed the same thing...  :'(

    So just very sad.

    Syd. Larry. Rutger. The Blade Runner alumni has lost some real greats this year.
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