Friday, January 03, 2020

Architect of Film: Syd Mead 1933 - 2019

Syd Mead's work for Ridley Scott's Blade Runner [1982] was revolutionary for science fiction's depictions of the future: envisioning a world that was not unscathed by the uneven accretions of human use, decay, and the layers of historical accumulation that we know, by our own experience of the present's future to its past, occur naturally and uncontrollably. No other film production designer for any other film (including the dystopian steampunk/ dieselpunk automotive constructions of Mad Max), had conceived - so comprehensively, so believably, nor so glamorously - a near future that included the infrastructure of the present in all its worn and aging contingencies, showing all its familiar manners of falling apart, and all its crumbs of detritus strewn along the way.    

His imaginative genius has influenced every subsequent cinematic depiction of the future in one way or another, and, not since Piranesi has a generation of architects been so inspired to accept, embrace and romanticize the inevitable mess that even the most pristine structures are enveloped with by the passage of time. 
Just a few of the many designs he produced for this seminal film below - 
                                                 [For the design of Deckard's apartment, please see my previous post here.]

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