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World Building Live: Future Cities, Surveillance and Spectacle

13.02.2017 - Juan DiazB, Itamar Kubovy, Alex McDowell, Kamal Sinclair, Trisha Williams

World building designates an iterative and collaborative narrative practice in which the deep understanding of a world precedes the telling of a story. Interdisciplinary experts and Talents engage the audience in a session to holistically visualize the future reality of cities and the cinematic stories that will emerge within them. The ubiquitous presence of screens, cameras, wearables, tracking, big data and personalized media constantly blur the boundaries between surveillance and spectacle. Culture, politics, architecture, fashion and social interaction are reshaped - and so is film. Through human narratives, we redefine the capability of storytelling to construct our world.


Juan DiazB

photo of Juan DiazB
Juan DiazB is a director, writer and narrative designer. He is the European Director of the World Building Institute, a research unit at the University of Southern California focusing on the future of narrative media. He is also the founder and creative director of Kosmology, a creative studio that develops multi-platform projects including TORPOR, a reflection on lifestyle and environmental degradation, and the award-winning music, dance, film and transmedia project WE ARE THE HEAT.

Itamar Kubovy

photo of Itamar Kubovy
Itamar Kubovy is the Executive Director of the Pilobolus Dance Theater, where he founded and co-curates the critically acclaimed International Collaborators Project, which opens the choreographic process to artists and thinkers from diverse fields. Before joining Pilobolus, he studied philosophy at Yale, ran theatres in Germany and Sweden, directed plays, co-directed the 2002 season finale of THE WEST WING, and made a film, UPHEAVAL, starring Frances McDormand.

Alex McDowell

photo of Alex McDowell
Alex McDowell RDI is a narrative designer working at the intersection of design, technology and storytelling. He is the founder and creative director of Experimental Design; a Professor of Practice at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts; and Director of the USC World Building Institute. He has 30 years’ experience as a production designer and has worked with David Fincher, Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam, and Anthony Minghella, among others.

Kamal Sinclair

photo of Kamal Sinclair
Kamal Sinclair is a producer, community arts leader and multi-disciplinary artist. She currently serves as the Director of the Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Program, which supports artists working at the convergence of film, art, media and technology; and as artist and producer on the QUESTION BRIDGE: BLACK MALES transmedia art project. She holds degrees from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Georgia State University.

Trisha Williams

photo of Trisha Williams
Trisha Williams is the founder and Chief Creative Officer at Pigeon Hole Productions in San Diego, where she leads world building and visualisation efforts. With an MA in Interactive Technology, she has led creative and art direction in the video game and interactive entertainment industries for over a decade. Currently, she is leading projects in partnership with scientific institutes that blend digital art and gaming with neuroscience research. She also teaches world building at the University of Southern California.