In a world where futurists are often viewed with the kind of scepticism, that is generally reserved for soothsayers, astrologers, and all those that can predict the 'future' without seeing it, Syd Mead is an aberration.

By Anshuman Joshi

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Published: Mon 21 Feb 2005, 2:48 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:11 PM

He is an artist — one that can blend in a heavy dose of sci-fi fantasy with ground-stopping reality. It is this ability alone that has catapulted him the upper stratosphere of the design world — all those places that require a mind fertile with imagination and creativity — automobile companies, tech firms and of course, the biggest calling card on anyone's resume, Hollywood. Now the much-acclaimed futuristic conceptualist, designer and artist, who can stake credit to Bladerunner, 2010 and Star Trek: The Motion Picture is in Dubai as part of a part of a ground-breaking exclusive region wide representation rights agreement with Vahid Associates — one of the region’s leading strategic communications consultancies.

Ask him what makes for a good futurist and he will tell you it is "someone who has access to current information, has a grasp of data management and has a healthy dose of personal scepticism". But considering that there are not too many futurists around, did he encounter a lot of cynicism when he started off on his mind-bending exploits? "Cynicism is usually an indication of lack of imagination," he says.

And then you come to the entire concept of the 'exhaustibility' of the mind, and the fact that the mental resources do tend to get 'spent' over a period of time. "My goodness! With an entire world inventing new stuff by the minute, how could one ever become spent? " he dismisses the notion summarily. In this context, it is pertinent to ascertain as to how he keeps his creative juices going? "You have to saturate your brain with relevant information, pretend to forget it all, and then start sorting and moving to ‘best possible’ choice of solution," he says.

Like most others he also sounds his opinion of the city in glowing terms. "If the current benevolent mood toward innovation and development continue, Dubai will become a global ‘jewel’ in the catalogue of fabulous places to visit, live and enjoy."

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