A British national, David was born and grew up in Switzerland where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Design’s European campus. He immigrated to the United States in 1991 to join Los Angeles-based Synapse Technologies, producers and designers of IBM’s UltiMedia projects: “Columbus: Encounter, Discovery and Beyond”, and “Evolution/Revolution: The World Discovers Itself.” Columbus remains to this day the largest interactive multimedia educational project ever produced.
In 1992, David joined Santa Monica-based design firm Pacific Interactive. At Pacific, he art directed multimedia titles for the likes of IBM, Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft. Pacific’s project “Earth” produced for IBM and Turner, was presented at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In 1994, he moved to Seattle to art direct “Stop the Rock!” a Pacific/Disney produced CD-Rom title featuring popular PBS television personality Bill Nye the Science Guy. He left Pacific in 1996 and began freelancing for Microsoft’s electronic magazine Mint, a “cutting edge webzine” in the words of the New York Times.
In 1998, David and former partner Scott Palamar were commissioned by the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas to produce, design, and animate over 12 hours of content to be projected on 70ft of high definition LED video walls. David moved to San Francisco in 1998 where he co-founded new media company Art4Brains. Art4Brains clients included Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project museum in Seattle, American Composers Forum, Tropitone, and Billabong.
In 2004 David Hartwell co-founded the design collaborative Plasmatic-Concepts with Sarah Lorenzen. Recent design and video/film projects include: a 1,200-sf bamboo pavilion for an architectural expo in Mumbai, motion graphics and animation for several TV shows broadcasted on the History, Discovery channels, Detroit Public Television, and for documentary films ”Class Act”, “The Los Angeles River”, “The Future of Filming in Downtown L.A”., and “Peripheral Landscapes.” David and Sarah recently completed a video installation commissioned by the Palm Springs Art Museum about architect Donald Wexler.
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