USC Cinematic Arts

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.


  • Alex McDowell RDI
    Creative Director,; Professor, USC SCA; Director, World Building Media Lab, World Building Institute
  • Jeff Watson
    Artist, Designer, Storyteller, and Assistant Professor of Digital Futures, OCAD University
  • Juan DiazB
    European Director World Building Institute; Creative Director Kosmology; Director, Writer, Narrative Designer
  • Petra Lebdušková
    Production Designer; Head of Production Design Department in Studio Famu
  • Romke Faber
    5D Cell Leader, the Netherlands
  • Tawny Schlieski
    Research Scientist, Intel Experience Group
  • Sarah Ellis
    Head of Digital Development, Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Botond Bognar
    Ambassador of Singularity University to Hungary and the Founding Director of Singularity University's Summit Europe
  • Anrick Bregman
    Virtual Reality, Film Director
  • Sergei Gepshtein
    Scientist, Director of Collaboratory for Adaptive Sensory Technologies, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • Alvise Simondetti
    Global Leader, Digital Environments NeXt_work Arup
  • Azad Madni
    Professor and Director, Systems Architecting and Engineering Program, USC