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Cut the Queue

If you haven't already, make this a rule of thumb:  Equal area does not mean equal space.

The function of a public bathroom goes much further than its physical attributes, it is a realm that should automatically provide every visitor with safety.

If a male toilet can fit two cubicles and two urinal, an identically-sized female toilet may only have the two cubicles. As a result women are inherently disadvantaged when this is not put into consideration and only half of the patrons will be accommodated in comparison to those using the male toilets. Furthermore, bathrooms segregated by gender automatically put those who do not conform to the gender norms in a situation more difficult than simply going to the restroom should be. Using the bathroom should not be a challenge. Gender neutral toilets are known to reduce the risk of harassment, provide further assurance for transgender and non-binary people, and overall bring parity to waiting times.

It is also worth noting that urinals for women exist. While they have not yet achieved popularity in the UK, they are gaining momentum in Europe. Technology such as madamePEE is creating hygienic and simple public urinals for women. It can drastically improve conditions in outdoor events such as festivals where the lack of secure cubicles puts people at risk.

Evidently, using the restroom is not a universal experience. Bushes or behind a tree does not work for everyone. It may seem cruel but practising this reality can have all patrons truly got equal access in your scheme? Well-functioning outdoor public toilets are a necessity.

Bathrooms may be used for multiple reasons - for example, if a space is being used for menstrual hygiene as well as a bathroom it will naturally have greater visits. Therefore, it is important to make sure a pace can handle the demand. The intersections of physical external space and intangible headspace become clear when exploring how architecture can respond to society’s increasing knowledge on gender relations. Rather than waiting to be go the extra mile and design progressively, it’s best to cut the queue.

is a grape gurl who loves grapes and memey Youtube videos, especially the ones that hail from a Pakistani schools in Saudi Arabia. She is a graduate from University of Bath and TU Delft, and currently practices architecture in London.


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