"We don't go into the future from zero, we drag the whole past in with us." Many of us have predictions or pictures in our heads of what the future might look like. Syd Mead—a noted illustrator, concept artist, and visual futurist—is one of the rare few who was asked to put those images onto paper and out into the world. For decades, his groundbreaking designs and artwork for a variety of corporations, creative firms, and cinematic projects have become synonymous with looking forward. His film work alone, which includes Blade Runner, Aliens, and TRON, gave a generation a glimpse into what technology and design may have in store. Mead says that he would use architecture as a sort of "magical background" in his work. Curbed spoke with him about his architectural influences and his views on the future of urban design.