Alex McDowell: Building Worlds – Terraforming the Narrative Space
Alex McDowell is a Production Designer at Los Angeles-based RDI. He is one of the most innovative and influential designers working in narrative media, with the impact of his ideas extending far beyond his background in cinema. McDowell advocates an immersive design process that acknowledges the key role of world-building in visual storytelling. Since moving to LA from London in 1986, McDowell has designed for a diversity of directors including Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, David Fincher, Zack Snyder and Steven Spielberg.
Currently, he is working on Man of Steel with director Zack Snyder. He recently completed In Time, directed by Andrew Niccol, and worked as Visual Consultant for the Aardman/ Sony animated feature Arthur Christmas. With many awards for his film design, McDowell was named a Royal Designer by the Royal Society of Arts in the UK. McDowell is adjunct professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and visiting artist at MIT’s Media Lab. He is also co-founder and creative director of 5D|The Future of Immersive Design, a global series of distributed events and 5D Institute, an education space for an expanding community of thought leaders across narrative media.
"As interplanetary scientists hypothesize about the deliberate modifying of planets to make them habitable, this discussion will suggest a radical and transformative approach to designing space, allowing us to create and collaborate virtually and intuitively, and to sculpt new visual narratives as we imagine unbounded worlds. Our experience of narrative media is changing rapidly as traditional storytelling disciplines expand and merge. A new breed of ‘maker’ is emerging who freely traverses the traditional silos of storytelling; creating worlds across media and across culture."