Alex McDowell, RDI

Alex McDowell portrait

Alex McDowell is an award-winning designer and storyteller, who throughout his 30-year career of production design, has 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.

McDowell works at the intersection of emergent technologies and experiential media. He is founder and creative director at Experimental.Design, where he and his team design immersive story worlds for industries and institutions.

McDowell is the William Cameron Menzies Endowed Chair in Production Design at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. He is also the founder and director of the World Building Institute and World Building Media Lab. As Director of the USC World Building Media Lab at the school, McDowell and his interdisciplinary students collaborate to build immersive worlds for storytelling across multiple platforms. The WbML was awarded the prestigious Future Voice Award at the 2014 Interaction Awards in Amsterdam. He also leads the USC World Building Institute, a renowned multi-disciplinary knowledge space.

As Visiting Artist to the MIT Media Lab (2005-2010) he designed the robot opera Death and the Powers. He is a Getty Research Institute scholar, and a member of the AMPAS SciTech Council. In 2006, he was awarded Royal Designer for Industry by the UK’s Royal Society of Arts, and in 2013 UK Designers & Art Directors President's Award.