Toilets, taboos, and design principles

Directional sign to toilets in an outdoor area.Public toilets are a key factor in getting out and about. But are they useable by everyone? Ever thought about how they contribute to our economic and social growth? A myriad of issues are brought together for a thoughtful discussion in Katherine Webber’s Churchill Fellowship report. The report is based on her international study tour. It has several recommendations for design, maintenance and social planning. The title of the report is, “Exploring Accessibility and Inclusion in Public Toilets“. There is a one page checklist on public toilet design principles. See below.

The report has a great quote from Lezlie Lowe that indicates the importance of public toilets in everyday life, “Have we ever granted toilets – and especially public toilets – their due? Have we given them credit for how they’ve helped grow our world? As gross or goofy or quotidian as they may seem, public toilets represent higher notions and beliefs. Fundamentally: who is in and who is out. Whom we see as part of the city. Whom we see as human.” From, No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs. A list of public toilet design principles.