Fueled by research, visualization, and prototyping, McDowell’s world building process organically unearths world spaces that become containers for narrative; characters, history, and stories are mined directly from the context of their surroundings. World Building for the Rilao Project, a fictional city formed from the chance encounter of the DNA of Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles – is expanded through the process of gaming. Watson’s Rilao Remote Viewing Protocol, which was initially utilized at the Science of Fiction, developed over 1000 stories in a one-day world build. This process of interactive story development inspires holistic creation between the multiple authors to build a logical, collaborative world, and to develop a narrative that produces rich and surprising outcomes.
Curator: Alex McDowell, 5D GlobalStudio at Wondros | Professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts
Jeff Watson, University of Southern California
Creative Director, 5D Global Studio at Wondros
Professor of Practice, USC School of Cinematic Arts, Media Arts + Practice
William Cameron Menzies Endowed Chair in Production Design
Director, USC World Building Media Lab, USC World Building Institute
Alex McDowell RDI is a narrative designer and creative director working in multi-platform experiential media. Throughout his 30-year career of production design, McDowell collaborated with directors including Steven Spielberg (Minority Report, The Terminal), Tim Burton (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and David Fincher (Fight Club), among many others. In many ways, Minority Report solidified his process of world building, as the film’s broad requirements for empirical context (future reality, not science fiction) demanded the evelopment of an entire narrative space, at the same time as new digital processes enabled revolutionary non-linear and immersive creative environments for design visualization.
He is Professor of Practice in Media Arts + Practice at USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he teaches world building. He is director of the USC World Building Media Lab (WbML), where McDowell and his interdisciplinary students engage in funded research to build immersive worlds for storytelling and vast collaboration for synchronous media technologies. He also leads the USC World Building Institute, renowned since 2007 as the preeminent knowledge space for designers and creators in cross-platform narrative media.
McDowell’s 5D GlobalStudio at Wondros are high-end peddlers of modern-day magic. In a multi-platform, cross-discipline design studio practice, he and his team combine emergent technologies with highly interactive storytelling to create deeply immersive experiences that surprise, provoke and delight. 5D GlobalStudio imagines a clearer vision of the future for clients and creates holistic experiences that enact those futures--now. McDowell applies world building across multiple industries with clients including Boeing, Intel, Royal Shakespeare Company, Warner Brothers, among others.
Jeff Watson is an artist, designer, and Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His work investigates how game design, pervasive computing, and social media can enable new forms of storytelling, participation, and learning. He is a Director at the Situation Lab, a design research laboratory cross-sited at USC and OCAD University, and is an associate faculty member at the USC Game Innovation Lab.
Juan DiazB, Director / Worldbuilder, Kosmology
Juan DiazB approaches his work as a weave of visions that interlaces during the creation process, always trying to push the limits of storytelling and narrative media and has been awarded for his work as designer, writer and director.
As part of the WorldBuilding Institute, has continuously research and developed new non-linear and collaborative worldbuilding processes and for the past 5 years has co-curated the WBi /Worldbuilding and Design track at the Berlinale Talents.
DiazB lives between Berlin and Bogota working in film, transmedia and multi-platform projects in Europe and America. He is the transmedia designer of the multi-awarded Mon Amour - Hip Hop transmedia project - and is preparing his next projects, including Bitterness a magic realism story and Synchro a science fiction project with a multi-platform narrative.