Alex McDowell: World Builder

Alex McDowell: World Builder

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Alex McDowell is the production designer behind blockbuster movies like The Crow, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fight Club, Minority Report, The Terminal, Corpse Bride, Watchmen, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Man of Steel.

He has done graphic design work with musicians like The Clash, Iggy Pop, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Queen, Neil Young, Madonna, Michael Jackson, ZZ Top, and Aerosmith. He has produced commercials for brands like Nike, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Sony, and Chanel with director David Fincher.

Alex has won a San Diego Film Critics Society award in the Best Production Design category with Minority Report and an Art Directors Guild award for Excellence in Production Design for The Terminal. He is appointed Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA, the UK's most prestigious design society, and he’s been a Visiting Artist at the MIT Media Lab.

Currently Alex runs Experimental Design, powered by his “World Building” practice, doing innovation and design work for clients like Boeing, Ford, Volvo, and MoMA.

Products Mentioned


  • 00:00 Intro
  • 04:08 Realizes that design is a job
  • 09:20 Style, philosophy, method, narrative
  • 13:45 "The only control you have...."
  • 19:55 What is production design?
  • 29:48 World Building
  • 35:10 Building worlds for a living
  • 43:02 Collaborations
  • 47:51 The teams who build worlds
  • 51:17 Influences
  • 54:04 The most amazing design products of all time
  • 56:35 What is next

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Mehmet Aydın Baytaş

Mehmet Aydın Baytaş


Mehmet is the founder of Design Disciplin. He has been designing and building since 2005, and spent 10 years as academic computer scientist and design researcher.