Joel Johnson interviews Syd Mead: part 1.

In today's episode of BBtv, Boing Boing Gadgets editor Joel Johnson meets with his hero, futurist and artist Syd Mead, to discuss the evolution of conceptual design.

Mead is a former designer for Ford Motor Company and US Steel. His designs have appeared in many movies, including Aliens, Tron, and Blade Runner.

About Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email:
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15 Responses to Joel Johnson interviews Syd Mead: part 1.

  1. Rick. says:

    We need a feature-length Syd Mead interview!

  2. Xeni Jardin says:

    Dude, 8 minutes on the internet is feature-length! :)

    So, we are actually parsing out the epic and excellent interview Joel did with Syd in a few episodes. We figured this would be more appropriate for the medium. Stay tuned, there’s a lot more coming. I hope you like it.

  3. EtaWat says:

    Appreciate the interview. I beg to differ Xeni, given chance its incredible just how much content people can enjoy on the internet in one go.

    I have zero sympathy to those that think anything more than two paragraphs (or 30 seconds) is TL;DR.

  4. Xeni Jardin says:

    @ETAWAT, well, that’s good to hear. We are doing longer-form episodes, and if the feedback continues to be positive, we’ll keep experimenting with that. There is sort of a floating rule that everything must be short-form, 1-3 minutes… maybe that is changing. Maybe it can be longer when it’s not a dog on a skateboard or diet coke and mentos.

  5. FreakCitySF says:

    I love his work! Can’t wait to see the other parts..

    There was a recent documentary on him

    Haven’t seen it yet.

    And his “how to” series is excellent

    Show the hyperspace van creation.

  6. Contrasoma says:

    Fantastic stuff – looking forward to the next installments.

  7. the_boy says:

    that was awesome

    tl:dr tht ws wsm

  8. Justin Ried says:

    Absolutely, totally brilliant – both the man and this segment. Thanks to Syd and Joel for sharing – can’t wait to see more.

  9. mgfarrelly says:


    My envy is all-encompassing. Not to mention, that was the BEST cold open ever.


  10. Nelson.C says:

    What’s the music playing at the end of this segment?

  11. tumblingwall says:

    I really want to see his drawings of the model t concept.

  12. ChoppyChoppy says:

    Holy crap! I’ve been waiting for a 1-on-1 with Syd forevah! Please post the rest of this, and let’s see more of this stuff with icons like Syd and Gary Gygax. It’s fantastic that someone is finding way to document the legacy of such pioneering minds. Great job Joel!

  13. El Zilcho says:

    Great interviews! That’s a ’36 Ford in the video though not a ’34, at castle Boing Boing there is but one punishment, a Spanking! A Spanking!!

  14. leriseux says:

    This is wonderful. Props to the music selection also.

  15. xris says:


    Syd Mead is on of those masters of whom you cannot ask anough questions.

    do you have the need for Mead?

    Check out the 4disc instructional DVD set by Syd Mead at The Gnomon Workshop DOT com.

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