Last night I attended the presentation and was completely taken aback by Meads' works. Perhaps you've seen Blade Runner, Aliens, Tron, Mission Impossible 3? Meads' worked on the conceptual design of these projects and coined the title "visual futurist" to appropriately term his profession.
Mead, 74, has as much vigor for his craft as a person half his age. Since the late '50s he has used his craft as an illustrator to design futuristic paintings and vehicles in sci-fi flicks, among other things. One job he has done, but failed to mention during the lecture, was that of designing the robot in Short Circuit. He calls what he does concept art, and it is fitting for him to term it this. His illustration of the Time Bubble, which is a time-traveling device, was accompanied with an explanation as to how it would work.
Towards the end of the lecture, he included a quote concerning a method of creativity he lives by, "Being creative involves the ability to stand 'off side' and watch yourself invent ideas ..."
For more information on Syd Mead visit his website, this budding critic hasn't even scratched the surface of his work.