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Man of Steel

The production of Man of Steel, a contemporary telling of the Superman mythology, was designed by Alex McDowell in 2011. 6 months of the design was devoted to developing a new world for the Planet Krypton.

01 | Superman glyph and logo, designed by Alex McDowell and Peter Rubin
01 | Superman glyph and logo, designed by Alex McDowell and Peter Rubin

The provocation for the design was simply, “Why Does Superman Have an ‘S’ on his chest?” He’s from Krypton, they don’t speak English… The entire culture was built on that question, the form of the glyph in the shape of the letter ‘S’ became the basis of not only the architecture, the organic sciences, and the objects of the world, but also a complete written language developed by Alex McDowell, graphic designer Kirsten Franson and linguist anthropologist Christine Schreyer and based on the semantics of the visual language.

02 | The construction of a biomimetic interior for krypton using a combination of 3d and clay in the design, and shipbuilding and rapid prototyping in the full scale set
02 | The construction of a biomimetic interior for krypton using a combination of 3d and clay in the design, and shipbuilding and rapid prototyping in the full scale set
03 | There are no straight lines on Krypton so all forms were rapid prototyped, occupying up all the maker spaces in Vancouver for 3 months.
03 | There are no straight lines on Krypton so all forms were rapid prototyped, occupying up all the maker spaces in Vancouver for 3 months.

Complex asymmetrical and organic architecture was printed using rapid fabrication, and employing every fabrication lab in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland for three months.

This was McDowell’s final film as production designer.

04 | Joe-El’s laboratory: interior
04 | Joe-El’s laboratory: interior
05 | Pre-viz of the priming of child Kal-El’s pod, designed to transport him safely from Krypton to Earth
05 | Pre-viz of the priming of child Kal-El’s pod, designed to transport him safely from Krypton to Earth
06 | The interior of Jor-El’s ship
06 | The interior of Jor-El’s ship
01 | Superman glyph and logo, designed by Alex McDowell and Peter Rubin
02 | The construction of a biomimetic interior for krypton using a combination of 3d and clay in the design, and shipbuilding and rapid prototyping in the full scale set
03 | There are no straight lines on Krypton so all forms were rapid prototyped, occupying up all the maker spaces in Vancouver for 3 months.
04 | Joe-El’s laboratory: interior
05 | Pre-viz of the priming of child Kal-El’s pod, designed to transport him safely from Krypton to Earth
06 | The interior of Jor-El’s ship