selected works
Eighteen years of design innovation
Shawn's work has spanned a wide breadth of industries over the last eighteen years, from Condé Nast to Google, Apple, and Airbnb. He has trained under legendary designers, like Milton Glaser and Stefan Sagmeister. He's also been a part of big business transformations like IBM's implementation of design-thinking at scale and Facebook's forays into the metaverse. Shawn is an Adjunct Professor at the California College of Arts in the graduate Interaction Design program, where he teaches visual design in the Fall and his own class, Futureproof, on creative thinking and speculative design, in the Spring. He also developed a historical walking tour of San Francisco's lost queer nightlife scene, Unspeakable Vice. It examines the origins of queer identity and wonders how it might evolve next.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
— Robert heinlein
specialization is for insects
special- ization is for insects.
other projects
An Unspeakable vice gains a voice
When you come out of the closet, no one hands you a gay history book. For many like myself, the journey to feeling part of the queer community is full of questions about the history and meaning of LGBTQ figures, culture, and traditions. In 2018, I began learning the history of North Beach in San Francisco. It was there, not the Castro, that many early gay rights figures emerged. Their messy and wayward path to the modern LGBTQ movement is fascinating and full of unexpected explanations such as the origin of drag queens, gay slang, bar-centric socializing, and clashes with socially conservative culture. What began as independent research is now several walking tours in San Francisco covering more than two hundred years of queer history. Learn more