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Designer Syd Mead to Speak

The Duncan Anderson Lecture Series returns to campus on Thursday, April 19, at 6 p.m. in the University Theater, featuring futurist and conceptual designer Syd Mead. The series was established by the Anderson-Malcolm family to honor the memory of Anderson, a former CSULB industrial design student, who died while attending the university. Admission is free.

The series is offered in conjunction with the pair of $3,000 Duncan Anderson scholarships that support two outstanding industrial design majors every year.

“The series has heard professionals as different as journalists and architects,” said series organizer and Assistant Professor Jose Rivera-Chang. “This series is a way to reach out beyond CSULB’s Design Department to students from other schools and the community at large.”

Over the last 50 years, Mead has designed and illustrated for corporations, motion pictures, themed entertainment, and a wide range of transportation projects. His film work includes “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” “Blade Runner,” “Tron,” “2010,” “Aliens,” “Short Circuit,” “Johnny Mnemonic” and “Mission Impossible III.” Off screen, Mead has designed a 747 interior, a yacht and the Spaceship 2056 pavilion in Japan. Numerous magazines have featured his art and he has published several books.

Rivera-Chang wants his students to hear Mead explain his work.

“It is a chance for my students and the community at large to gain inspiration from somebody that has been in the business for so long,” he said. “When you’re talking about motivation, which is a better example than Syd Mead?”

Mead’s appearance underlines the importance of industrial design to society, Rivera-Chang believes.

“People aren’t aware of how much of their everyday world depends on design,” he said. “For instance, when you write on a table, a designer created that table. By projecting from that, Mead can forecast the look of future products.”

To Rivera-Chang, Mead’s work is the perfect example of how to take an idea about the future and make it real.

“By designing real products for corporations like Matsushita and Sony, he can make something look real that doesn’t even exist yet,” he said. “His design legacy is that nothing is impossible. What can’t be made in the real world, he makes in the future.”

The Duncan Anderson Lecture Series offers a peek into the future. “If you want to see your dreams about the future come true, please come see our special guest Syd Mead,” he said. “Many of his dreams have been realized in products and movies. Come see how an artist made all our dreams come true.”