Perhaps this name means nothing to you. It's probably because you don't remain in the movie theatre long enough to watch the credits, otherwise you would see his name come up in several movies, from various James Bond films to some of Stanley Kubrick's masterpieces. Sir Ken Adam was responsible for the creation os numerous sets and cinema gadgets, that have become true icons, such as the famous War Room in Dr. Strangelove.
The story of his life is, in the very least, agitated. A German jew (his birth name was Klaus Adam), he moved with his family to England in 1934 (he was 13). He wanted to be an architect and even studied architecture at the London University. However, it was as a set designer that he found his true calling. His futuristic design of the nuclear reactor in Dr. No, the first movie from the 007 saga, granted him his first taste of popularity. From this point on, he started being hired for numerous contributions to all sorts of movies. His work in Kubrick's Barry Lyndon finally earned him a well-deserved Oscar in 1976.
Here's some of Ken Adams creations for the 007 series: the set of Dr. No;
The inside of Fort Knox in Goldfinger;
The S.P.E.C.T.R.E. headquarters in Thunderball...
... and in You only live twice;
The lunar vehicle in Diamonds are forever;
The visionary environment in Moonraker.
The mythical spaceship from the TV-show Star Trek was one of his most well-known creations...
... as well as the bizarre Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...
Finally, some of the sketches from the underrated The Ipcress File, with secret agent Harry Palmer, which some people say is even better than James Bond.