Architect’s Newspaper Review: Syd Mead Progressions Exhibition

Pebble Beach Panel 2, 2000.
Courtesy Syd Mead

In the beginning there was pulp sci-fi. Lurid cartoons of future cities riddled with aerial tramways and flying cars, and throbbing with atomic power. For the most part they populated the covers of newsstand offerings like Popular Science and Amazing Tales. But all that was before Syd. He changed all that. He was a futurist. He invented the term. He created a new genre.

One can forgive the nearly one thousand visitors at the opening exhibition of Syd Mead: Progressions if they missed the irony: there was the acclaimed futurist himself, dressed all in white, receiving friends in the faux-medieval courtyard of the Forest Lawn Mortuary and Museum. Joining the throngs of the faithful as they jostled for a better view of his paintings, and searching in vain for even one fellow architect, one could not help wondering why the place was not swarmed by young designers. And one was reminded once again of just how insular the architects of the “Me Generation” had become.


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