June 1, 2023

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EyesOn Design

EyesOn Design

-Syd Mead Legendary Futurist 1933-2019

Another giant has passed.

Sadly, legendary futurist Syd Mead passed away on December 30th, 2019 at age 86.

The special friend of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology may be gone from this earth and its challenges, but his many influences on the EyesOn Design show, the main fundraiser of the Institute, cannot be erased. 

His three “Eyes” posters 1991, 2011 and 2017 live on. Each of the three were donations on his part, in gratitude for the superb eyesight he himself enjoyed.

The first poster in 1991 was Syd’s first digital work; his introduction to a design and art world he literally revolutionized.

Syd’s selection as the 2016 EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement award winner places him squarely in that pantheon of greats selected by those who have previously won that award.

Although he never designed a car that traversed the streets of America, this coterie of the world’s best designers afforded him the highest honor in the car design world feeling that, as one said, “With his pen and mind he influenced every one of us to do our best work, to reach for the stars.”

If there is a place in heaven reserved for this silo of genius, Syd Mead will be joining Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Buehrig, Jordan, Pininfarina, MacMinn, Earl and Mitchell. Syd Mead now has a seat of honor.

And in that celestial gathering we guess his comments on his predecessors and contemporaries will sometimes be trenchant, direct, sly and filled with gut busting good humor. As it so often was for us at dinner at Stoney Point in Pasadena – where despite the astoundingly diverse world of his design mind, his dinner order never seemed to vary! How we shall miss those evenings.

The Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology owes its life to a battalion of friends and supporters. Syd, and his frequent co-author and constant collaborator, Roger Servick, are without peer.

Syd, you will be missed in many venues, but few will have respected, loved, and appreciated you more than those of us at EyesOn Design.

Philip C Hessburg MD
Medical Director,
Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology

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