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The Design School remembers alum, faculty associate Shon Quannie

Shon Quannie, an influential leader in the design community throughout the Southwest thanks to his practice, teaching and advocacy, died Dec. 30, 2020.

Quannie was an alumnus from The Design School at Arizona State University, earning his BSD in industrial design in 1997, and taught as a faculty associate in the school.

“This is a tremendous loss, and we wish to honor his legacy as a faculty associate, alumnus and tireless advocate of the school as well as the design community at large,” wrote Joseph ‘Pepe’ Velasquez, head of the industrial design program, in a letter to The Design School community.

Quannie's advocacy was informed by his heritage, and he often lent his creative talents and entrepreneurial spirit to causes that honored his Indigenous (Acoma Pueblo/Hopi) and Mexican roots, Velasquez said.

Quannie served as a creative partner for the IndigeDesign Collaborative, board member and executive director of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona, and an executive board committee member of the Hopi Education Endowment Fund.  

As a student, Velasquez wrote, Quannie mastered the art of self-reliance and never wavered from confronting the challenges of tertiary education. He was a member of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, where he previously served as president of the Epsilon Chapter; an active member of the ASU Alumni Association; and a regular attendee at Sun Devil football games.

He left his mark on the wider design community via 4X Studio, the practice he founded and operated for more than 20 years. It is in this specific role as a practitioner of record that he brought his expertise back to ASU as the instructor for the professional practice course.

“In a year that will be remembered for the challenges we have all endured, we are confident in expressing that within The Design School, Shon's impact, influence and enthusiasm will be at the very top of that list of things to cherish and remember,” Velasquez wrote.