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Alex McDowell

Alex McDowell


Alex McDowell RDI is an award-winning designer and storyteller working at the intersection of emergent technologies and experiential media. He is founder and creative director of 5D Global Studio, the design studio at Wondros.

McDowell’s career encompasses 30 years as production designer in video and feature films, working with leading directors including David Fincher, Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam and Anthony Minghella. He has designed many films, amongst them Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Man of Steel, Watchmen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fight Club and Minority Report. His production design work on Minority Report is considered seminal both for its vision of near future technology and its integration with the public imagination, and is believed to have resulted in nearly 100 patents for new technologies.

He is a Professor of Practice in Media Arts + Practice at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts, and Director of the USC World Building Media Lab (WbML). McDowell and his interdisciplinary students research and build immersive worlds for storytelling and narrative design practice across multiple platforms. The WbML was awarded the prestigious Future Voice Award at the 2014 Interaction Awards. He also leads the USC 5D Institute, renowned since 2007 as the pre-eminent narrative media knowledge space. He is recipient, from George Lucas, of the William Cameron Menzies endowed chair in Production Design.

McDowell’s 5D Global Studio are high-end peddlers of modern-day magic. Working in a multi-platform, cross-discipline design practice he and his team combine emergent technologies with highly interactive storytelling to create deeply immersive experiences that surprise, provoke and delight.

As Visiting Artist to the MIT Media Lab (2005-2010) he designed the renowned robot opera "Death and the Powers" which premiered in 2010 at the Salle-Garnier in Monte Carlo. He is a Getty Research Institute scholar and an executive board member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Design Branch. In 2006, he was awarded Royal Designer for Industry by the UK’s Royal Society of Arts and, in 2013, was given the UK Designers & Art Director's Presidents Award.

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