Young Designers 2011

 
 
 
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Universal Design for Public Toilet
Ceramic and Glass Design | PGDPD
Neelima Hasija
TATA Design Research Chair, NID, Ahmedabad
Keywords
Universal
Easy to access for all users
Modular
Economy and relevant
For my diploma project, I worked with Professor Abir Mullick at the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA to research on the needs of public toilet users living in urban slums. The research team consisted of a fellow postgraduate student from Ceramics and Glass Design, Shikha Agarwal, who was the Research Assistant.

We employed multimodal research methods, to study the needs of independent users (those who can operate on their own), dependent users (elderly, children and people with disabilities) as well as care providers of children (parents) and dependent adults. Since most public toilets neither support safe use by disabled users nor allow care, the research adopted a universal design approach, to ensure that all users receive equal access to public toilets.

The soft research included photographic journals, audio journals, literature study and precedent
study, which resulted in an examination of the existing technologies and designs. The journals consisted of photographic documents and voice narratives, addressing important toilet issues related to use, needs and problems. The hard research included interviews, study of existing conditions to develop design thinking, evidence-based investigation, childrenísí drawings and full-scale simulation to learn about size, shape and organization information through the construction of the environment and user participation in a simulated environment.
The design of the final toilets and toilet stalls devoted attention to a wide variety of factors such as better wash-basin facility, wall support and storage, better body support in different types of squat latrines, maximum daylight, airflow and ventilation, water economy, better drainage and so on.
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