We are a Spring 2018 design studio in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Our project interrogates relationships between the current opioid epidemic and the built environment. Through spatial, geographic, and network analysis, we examine some of the most vulnerable locations in the United States, reframing the issue as a spatial problem that may be remediated, or even prevented, through design interventions.
The Declaration of Dependence is a manifesto, a repository, and an evolving channel for design research. We do not claim to be neutral; we are designers who believe that radically rethinking the spaces of our daily lives can improve individual health, community and civic engagement, the environment, the economy, and other large-scale infrastructures that connect us globally. Our work reveals that the basic problem at the heart of the epidemic—addiction—is not the result of individual weakness, but the simultaneous failures of multiple systems, including the designed environment. This is where we see the potential to imagine new realities.
We acknowledge that landscape architecture and urbanism are one component of a large, complex solution to the epidemic that requires an "all hands on deck" approach from multiple disciplines. With our work, which we will continue to update throughout the term, we seek to move this discourse incrementally forward.