Syd Mead, concept artist behind ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Tron,’ dies at 86

Mead’s background in industrial design may have helped him think up advanced technologies that are still believable. Before he created concepts of futuristic worlds, he worked on designs for Ford and illustrated catalogues for companies like United States Steel. He also designed products for Philips and drafted architectural renderings for Intercontinental Hotels and other firms.

When Art Directors Guild honored him in November, the organization’s president, Nelson Coates, called him “one of the most influential concept artists and industrial designers of our time.” He’d inspired people from various industries, after all, and he even once told Curbed that architects “go bonkers” for Blade Runner.