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What design would you recommend on public washrooms that can be used by all?

I love this question!

First, some interesting information I recently read (see link below for the article):

Gender neutral washrooms aren’t only beneficial for trans and gender non-conforming individuals. In addition to protecting vulnerable populations, studies have shown that gender-neutral bathrooms reduce average wait times. When you gotta go, you gotta go, and this way you GET to go!

Because they reduce wait times, gender neutral washrooms provide an opportunity to reduce the number of facilities and cut costs. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get rid of stinky urinals? 🤢

In terms of gender neutral washrooms best practices, I pulled this info from the article:

“Architectural choices can reduce the risk of both violent crimes and harassment in multi-stall bathrooms:

Gender-neutral facilities could be designed as open-plan spaces without an outer door and with stall doors that are floor to ceiling. Reimagined in this way, multi-stall bathrooms will come to resemble single-stall bathrooms from the perspective of users. Gender-neutral single-stall bathrooms are already more acceptable and have become the norm in many places.

This new design for bathrooms has actually been proposed as a way of combating bullying in schools as well as a way of reducing violence in public restrooms.

Changes in bathroom design should be gradual, starting in low-risk environments. A low-risk environment might be a theatre venue that has low alcohol consumption and high usage.

By consolidating a greater number of people in one room rather than two, the … gender-neutral bathroom provides safety in numbers: increasing bathroom occupancy reduces risks of predation associated with being alone and out of sight”

In summary:

  1. Education is the key: break up stagnant stereotypes and bust myths.

  2. Make gender-neutral washrooms accessible and convenient: they shouldn’t been hidden away in the far corner of the building.

  3. Start slow: Make one change at a time instead of all at once, it’s much less overwhelming.

  4. No gender policing: allow folks to use which ever bathroom they are comfortable using. Trans/non binary folks don’t have to use gender neutral washrooms if they don’t choose to.

In terms of signage - keep it simple. Don‘t use signs with aliens, animals, or even the word ‘whichever’, as they’re very delegitimizing. Even having the male symbol and female symbol together is less than ideal. Some folks aren’t male or female, so those signs are very exclusive.

Instead, less is more. Honestly, just having the word ‘toilet’ or ‘restroom’ is plenty.

Hopefully this is what you’re looking for!

Thanks for your question!


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