Toban Shadlyn


OPIOIDS, CARE, ADDICTION
PROJECT




2019 –

Center for Complexity,
Rhode Island School of Design 

︎︎︎Systems of Care
︎︎︎Studio Report 
︎︎︎Mainstay, RI
︎︎︎Design Beyond Crisis
An ongoing multi-year collaboration with public health researchers, people who use drugs, government officials, and community organizations to design healing and compassionate systems of care in the United States.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Opioid Crisis (oftentimes referred to as the Overdose Crisis) was and continues to be America’s deadliest public health emergency. As the pandemic persists, drug overdose deaths continue to rise in record numbers across the United States.  

Since 2019, I have worked in collaboration with a variety of organizations and community groups on the development and implementation of multiple interventions, each applying pressure on different parts of the care system to enact change. The goal of this work is pull the system of care and addiction into a new future. 




Equitable Futures Studios
In July 2020, the Center for Complexity (CfC) at Rhode Island School of Design began a collaboration with the COBRE on Opioids and Overdose to create a mechanism for systems change in Rhode Island. In March 2021, with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the CfC and COBRE initiated a six-month process of design-led discovery organized around two intensive RISD-facilitated studios.

The design studio format brings together a diverse group of stakeholders working across a shared challenge and provides a platform for open, guided inquiry into problems for which there are no simple or totalizing answers. Studios are a venue for research, experimentation, insight generation, and creativity — they accommodate the mess that comes with navigating uncertainty and embracing complexity as a matter of process. The studios set out to create a coordinated, interdisciplinary effort, and a structure for collaborative redesign to the current challenges. 

︎︎︎read about the studio








In the Spring of 2022, The Center for Complexity taught a RISD interdisciplinary studio with graduate and undergraduate students from Interior Architure and Industrial Design.

The studio was designed around the July 7, 2021 legislation passing a two-year pilot program to prevent drug overdoses through the establishment of harm reduction centers in Rhode Island. The law and regulations set minimum criteria that a harm reduction center must operate within.

Between regulation and implementation, there lies a host of design decisions that span disciplines and scale. These will have a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of all who occupy the site. This was the starting point of the studio.

︎︎︎ read more 








mainstay RI is a small thinktank and advocacy group working to redesign the environments of care for people impacted by the overdose crisis. We conduct research, provide educational training, design interventions, and partner with local community organizations to support their work.

︎︎︎ read more





Related Press / Publications 

Shadlyn, Toban, Hubbard, Leigh, and Maly, Tim. “The Role of Design Research in the World of Medical Science”, Design Research Society, Bilbao Spain, June 29 2022 (forthcoming). 


Berg, Nate. “Why RISD students are designing spaces for people to safely do drugs”, Fast Company, June 1, 2022.

Mulvaney, Katie. “Innovative RISD projects tackle opioid crisis and stigma through design”, Providence Journal, May 28, 2022.

Gagosz, Alexa. “How artists could play a role in harm reduction centers”, Boston Globe, May 16, 2022.

Mulvaney, Katie. “Replace stigma with compassion: RISD students reimagine better approaches to drug addiction”, Providence Journal, May 15, 2022.

“T2 Core partners with RISD’s Center for Complexity on Strategic Design Studios”, COBRE on Opioids and Overdose, September 2021. 

Green, Traci C et al. “COBRE on Opioid and Overdose: A Collaborative Research-Based Center Addressing the Crises in Rhode Island and Beyond.” Rhode Island medical journal (2013) vol. 104,3 22-26. 1 Apr. 2021. 



Index