In different social cultures, the toilet has different meanings and influences on people's daily life, it evolves and changes with the needs throughout time. What comes to mind when you think of a public toilet? Are there other possible experiences we can bring to it?
With an open-minded perspective, we studied the relationships between humans, toilet, and life and further explore possible future experiences that are more in line with the needs of the toilet.
Public toilets meet people's needs for private space and time in public space.
Is a public toilet just a place to go to the bathroom? We learned about people's behavior through online surveys, Guerrilla interviews, and in-depth interviews to further analyze research perspectives.
"Working in advertising company, there are too much pressure, too little time, when I want to calm down for a bit, adjust the mood, or don't want to be found by other people, I will go to the toilet. The reason why I don’t go to the company's coffee shop or other space, is because there are usually meetings or people passing by, I don't want people to see me taking break, and I’m also just too busy, don’t really have the time to go."
We summarized several different types of demands for public toilets:
- Physiological needs: On the toilet peeing or pooping, fart, vomit, rest, nap
- Specific resource/object requirements: Looking at oneself in the mirror, grooming, brushing teeth, throwing garbage
- Psychological/emotional needs: Adjust mood, release pressure, think, avoid awkwardness in the party, avoid things, space out
- Personal time needs: Spend time on the phone, take a break, read comics, walk around
- Social needs: Gossip, Check on social media, check your phone for important information
We went on to analyze the main role that public toilet plays in people's daily life. The toilet is the most accessible private space in a public space, temporarily hidden from the pressures of social groups. It is also a temporary departure from reality, creating the best cover for personal time, to be able to change the environment, get undisturbed buffer moment.
In addition, we found that groups have varying degrees of influence on individual toilet experience.
“'I was standing outside of the door and I heard a series of loud farts, and my pretty colleague walks out from the door, very embarrassing.”
The most basic and core function of the toilet is to solve everyone's physiological needs. With respect to individual privacy, there is a certain separation between the toilet and the public space, as well as a certain private space inside. But when someone else is in the bathroom, whether with a companion or someone you know, the bathroom experience is filled with tension and awkwardness under social pressure to worry about the eyes of others. No longer dare to defecate or fart in public toilets, deliberately shorten the urination time, and even extended disease.