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Alex McDowell

Professor Alex McDowell RDI is an award-winning narrative designer working at the intersection of design, technology and storytelling. His studio designs the future for industries and institutions.

He is Professor of Practice at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he teaches world building as a twenty-first century design practice. He is director of the USC World Building Media Lab and the World Building Institute.

Alex has been a production designer of feature films for 30 years, working with such directors as David Fincher, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, and Anthony Minghella. He is currently production designer on Star Wars Episode IX. While serving as Visiting Artist at the MIT Media Lab he designed the robot opera Death and the Powers. He continues to design motion pictures at remains deeply engaged in post-cinematic design and world building, where he and his multiple partners are developing a new disruptive future of storytelling for education and industry.

Alex has engaged in integrated world building projects that address the future of the Ocean, Autonomous Vehicles, Cities, Literacy, Education, Health, Medicine, Manufacturing and Storytelling. He continues to work with a collaborative and cross-disciplinary network of domain experts, creators, world builders, art/scientists, designers and engineers, students and teachers in every narrative media space, including those not yet imagined.

He serves on several boards and committees, including the Freeman Design Council, the Autodesk IDEAS Committee, and the AMPAS Design Committee.

His awards include Royal Designer for Industry by the UK’s RSA (2006), the President's Award (UK Designers & Art Directors, 2013), the Future Voice Award (Interaction Awards, 2014), the ADG Excellence in Production Design (2005), and SDFCS (2002); and nominations for BAFTA (2006), Saturn (2010), OFTA (2003, 2006), and VES (2003).

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