Inspiration & Technical Guide

This competition challenges entrants to create futurisitic vehicles in the style of master futurist Syd Mead.

You could start by rushing over to Syd’s personal web site ... but to save Syd’s site from imploding from overload we have compiled, with Syd’s assistance, inspirational words and a small sampling of his most relevant works...

Syd Mead

(by Syd Mead)

Being creative involves the ability to 'stand off side' and watch yourself invent ideas. Like an actor on stage delivering a soliloquy you are alone with your audience; those eventual admirers or detractors who will eventually judge your efforts. You must notice everything around you; the soft murmurs offstage, the scattered impressions that cross your primary line of reasoning. All these must be paid attention to for any one of them, no matter how trivial may, based on over forty five years of creative experience, be the genesis of originality that will serve, please and perhaps even overwhelm the excellence of prior solution
Syd Mead inspiration

The other, darker side of creativity is the naked terror that confronts anyone who strides into the arena of competitive creative endeavor. You suddenly realize that what you are doing must be not just suitable but refreshingly innovative and, if you pretend to reach the top of your game, startlingly nouveaux. The taunt of creative solution will wake you up with a start in the middle of the night; it will ruin many of your days and will be your threatening twin throughout your creative life. The promise of success is a challenge which is either met with confidence and that insouciance fueled by both intuition and the knowledge that you have arrived at a competitive mastery of your private capacities and weaker traits, OR it is a seductive goddess who will dump you in the middle of the freeway of life with purposeless whim. At any time, the fertile well of inspiration can be thwarted by a host of interruptions. And the most un-nerving element of all it this: as you 'get better' at what you do you are always competing not only with the next 'genius' or 'darling' in your trade; you are competing with your last lauded success. Yes, you eventually become your most ardent, most unforgiving competitor. That is what intimidates some to simply quit, to 'end it all' or worse, endlessly repeat their last applauded accomplishment.

Syd Mead inspiration

NECESSITY has been termed the MOTHER OF INVENTION. The experience of over forty years of inventing a wide variety of stuff for an equally broad spectrum of corporate clientele has formed, in my estimation, the conclusion that identifying NECESSITY is the single most critical element in problem solution. IF YOU CAN'T PINPOINT THE NECESSITY, YOU WILL FOREVER MISTAKE LOOKING FOR as the goal. This observation possibly explains the ubiquitous disconnect that characterizes  bureaucracy and most hierarchical organizations as typified by the vast majority of academia and absolutely, government.

My major was transportation. We learned how to do design mechanical constructs...
... but we also learned to appreciate the grandest designs of all;
... nature's genius for innovation, pattern, arrangement. I gained an appreciation of the balance between organic and mechanical and the symbiotic enhancement that results. My designs reflect this subtle dynamic still.

Syd Mead inspiration
Accomplished technique means discipline. Expertise is not gained by adjacency, by maudlin social schmoozing nor by wishful angst. It is learned, to the limit of one's ambition and curiosity, by constant observation, instruction, critique and determined improvement. The contemporary fashion of promoting attention spans of about ten minutes does not bode well for rising to the top of any 'hand skill' professional stack. Once you learn the basics, perfect your skill set and couple those two with intelligent idea creation. The petulant keening of the spoiled child does not replace determined concentration.

Syd Mead inspiration

Syd Mead inspiration

Syd Mead inspiration

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