Back to “Blade Runner” With Syd Mead

The visual artist on what the film got right—and wrong—about L.A.

“Director Ridley Scott was telling a noir story about a gritty world that gets left behind. So I projected L.A. buildings getting taller. The tallest one in the world was 2,000 feet; I went up to 3,000. Street level was the basement of the city. Now I’m watching the 73-story New Wilshire Grand Tower go up—the tallest structure west of the Mississippi. It’s going to be spectacular.”

Photograph courtesy Everett Collection