USC Cinematic Arts

What Is 5D?

5D Institute is a cutting edge USC non-profit Organized Research Unit dedicated to the dissemination, education, and appreciation of the future of narrative media through World Building.

World Building designates a narrative practice in which the design of a world precedes the telling of a story; the richly detailed world becomes a container for narrative, producing stories that emerge logically and organically from its well-designed core.

World Building is founded on three beliefs, namely that storytelling is the most powerful system for the advancement of human capability due to its ability to allow the human imagination to precede the realization of thought; that all stories emerge logically and intuitively from the worlds that create them; and that new technologies powerfully enable us to sculpt the imagination into existence.

5D Institute is the world's leading World Building collective. Our network of preeminent World Builders transcends borders and boundaries in film, animation, fashion, gaming, theatre, television, music, architecture, science, interactive media and more.

Through the newly cemented partnership with USC School of Cinematic Arts, 5D Institute is evolving into an unmatched connector between the next generation of young and undiscovered creators traversing the bleeding edge of innovation and companies who want to be at the frontlines of the new media landscape.

Since Oct 2008, we have come together at 5D's distributed events to engage in a disruptive interrogation of our fractured disciplines, to create best practices and a new shared language across narrative media.

'The neural sparking between left brain and right brain is at the core of 5D - we are moving into a landscape where art and science, design and engineering are inseparable. At their intersection lies the new creative laboratory for the future of our narrative practices.'

- Alex McDowell, 5D Institute Director