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Arotin Hartounian


Based in:

Austin, Texas

A Bit About Me

My first passion has been drawing and painting people. While most people found the challenge of recreating a person’s likeness daunting, I was excited by how minor changes in proportions, details and relationships would come together to create a distinctive identity.

My second passion in life is festivals. I feel rejuvenated and calmed by the over-stimuli of large gatherings of people, often scaling back my perspective to reflect on how the people, installations, and infrastructure come together to become one cohesive being.

My third passion in life is design, a constant oscillation of these two extremes. Like portrait drawing, I am driven to observe the many elements and details, interpret their relationships, and bring them together to create a cohesive product, service, or experience. I marvel at the complexity of economics and its striking similarities to ecology.I am equally interested in the life cycle of a product as the product itself, equally interested in the driving forces of consumerism than the business itself, equally interested in the details as the larger systemic view.

Work Experience

Senior Service Designer


September 2022 - Present

System Designer

Design Institute for Health
@ Dell Medical School

September 2019 - September 2022

Design Fellow

City of Los Angeles Mayor's Innovation Team (i-team)

January 2019 - June 2019

Research Assistant

H-SEIF Project

September 2018 - December 2018

Illustrator & Designer


January 2010 - May 2019

Ascension is one of the largest healthcare systems in the US. I am one of the designers on Ascension Studio's Strategic Design team which works on systemwide healthcare service line initiatives.

Designer on staff of a design consultancy and think tank within Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. I worked on healthcare design and strategy projects for the medical school's departments and the teaching hospital, as well as external clients.

Served a fellowship as a system designer for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's Innovation Team (i-Team). Working on the future ecosystem of workforce development for the City of Los Angeles.

H-SEIF (Human Systems Engineering Innovation Framework) is an ongoing research project funded by The Research Council of Norway that aims to increase collaborative innovation throughout the Norwegian tech sector. The project is a multi-institution effort between The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, The University of South-Eastern Norway, and The Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Provided fine art, illustrations, and design development for a wide range of clients and private collectors.


B.S. Product Design

ArtCenter College of Design

May 2015 - August 2019

Masters Exchange Program:
Systems-Oriented Design

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

August 2018 - December 2018

Illustration Major (transfer)

Pasadena City College

September 2009 - December 2014

Fine Art Painting 

California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA)

August 2008

Ryman Arts

Fine Art


Graduated with Honors and an added minor in Designmatters (design for social impact).

I also received The Student Leadership Award for the graduating class of summer 2019.

During a semester-long exchange program, I studied under

Birger Sevaldson, a well-known figure in the field of systems

thinking and design for complexity. Additionally, I served as his research assistant on the Norwegian government-funded H-SEIF project.

Sampled a wide-range of art and design careers while in community college. I switched my major from illustration to entertainment design to product design.

Did an intensive summer program at The California Institute of the Arts' CSSSA program. I gave the commencement speech for that year's cohort and was also awarded a California Scholar of the Arts medal, issued by California Governor Schwarzenegger.

Completed the three-semester Ryman Arts program. Ryman Arts provides college-level drawing and painting classes to Southern California high school students who are admitted based on merit.

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