'Visual Futurist' Syd Mead, recipient of the 2016 Car Design News Lifetime Achievement award, is to receive a similar honour: the 2017 EyesOn Design Lifetime Achievement award for distinguished careers in automotive design. This will be given at a black-tie ceremony in Detroit mid-June. Artwork [above] by Mead, specially created for the 30th annual EyesOnDesign Automotive Design Exhibition, was unveiled yesterday at an event in downtown Detroit.
A graduate of ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Syd Mead began his career at Ford’s Advanced Styling Studio. From there he branched out to independent practice working for clients such as US Steel, Celanese and Phillips Electronics, as well as taking commissions of all types for transportation and entertainment design, and urban planning projects.
Mead has also worked in motion pictures for four decades, recognised for his ability to 'visualize' the future. His creative work can be seen in feature films as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner, Tron, 2010, Short Circuit, and most recently, Elysium. He is frequently cited as an inspiration by car designers.
The EyesOn Design Lifetime Achievement award is given by the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, part of the Henry Ford Health System, and has been awarded to automotive legends such as Harley Earl and Virgil Exner, and more recently, to design leaders including Giorgetto Giugiaro, Walter De Silva, Chris Bangle, Patrick Le Quement, and Shiro Nakamura. Last year’s Lifetime Achievement award winner was Stewart Reed of ArtCenter College of Design.