A transdisciplinary project about designing more inclusive public bathrooms has just been awarded one of two Innovation Awards by the AIA. Stalled!—a project led by architect Joel Sanders, transgender historian Susan Stryker, and legal scholar Terry Kogan—takes on the national controversy surrounding trans individuals’ access to public bathrooms through the lens of design. The timing of the award could not be more apt, with the Trump administration proposing to limit the legal definition of gender as the biological sex assigned at birth, affecting the roughly 1.4 million Americans who identify themselves as trans or as a gender other than the one assigned to them at birth, a status currently protected under civil rights laws. The AIA Innovation Award recognizes projects that inventively implement technology and new practices in the management of a building’s lifecycle. By offering research and design standards for more inclusive bathrooms, Stalled! moves beyond polarized rhetoric to present practical design solutions. The project tackles the norm of the sex-segregated bathroom in three areas: offering best practice guidelines for all-gender, multi-user bathrooms; amending the International Plumbing Code to allow for such design interventions; and conducting outreach and education efforts within the design and institutional community about the alternatives. According to Stryker, a professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona and an expert on transgender history, culture, and politics in the U.S., the single-sex public bathroom is discriminatory against a wide range of individuals and not just those who are trans. These include people with disabilities whose caretakers are another gender identity, those who are gender-nonconforming, and fathers who need to take their daughters to the bathroom. A commonly offered solution—the single-user, all-gender bathroom that supplements the male and female bathroom—“replicates the idea of separate but equal” by creating a segregated space for those who are not cisgender or identify either as male or female. According to Stryker, the multi-user, all-gender bathroom that Stalled! advocates for simply works better, and installing such a bathroom does not even require ideological agreement about what gender is. Retrofitting an existing set of facilities or creating a new one “doesn’t take up more space, and meets all of these needs. It’s powerful, simple, and elegant, and offers equity of access,” added Stryker. A case study on the Stalled! site shows a retrofit of the Field House at Washington, D.C.–based Gallaudet University, featuring an inclusive changing room and bathroom. Stalled! also features an airport bathroom prototype that separates the bathroom into three zones for grooming, washing, and using the toilet, rather than by male and female users. Beyond bathrooms, the principles of inclusive design can extend to other public spaces as well, and the project team from Stalled! has begun a startup called MIXdesign that will apply this approach to other institutions that have historically excluded those who are not able-bodied, cisgender, male, and white. The debate about gender identity and public space appears to be far from over, and if the record of the Trump administration's measures against recognizing trans or non-binary gender identities is any indication, it appears this will be a protracted issue in the coming years. In the meantime, Stalled! offers itself as an online and real-time resource for design professionals and institutions seeking to make their bathrooms more accessible to all.
Posts tagged with "bathroom":
This year, 80,000 people migrated to Orlando to see toilets spread out across the equivalent of 36 football fields (or 2.1 million square feet) at the Orange County Convention Center. Crowds were dazzled by the spectacular and often sensory showcase of the newest kitchen and bath fixtures at the 2018 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). Where water was flowing in the company of ambient lighting, AN spent two days meandering through 600 booths across two buildings connected by an outdoor foot bridge (and a Greyhound-style shuttle bus). Our favorites are highlighted below. Terrazzo Ann Sacks In an ode to traditional Italian terrazzo, Ann Sacks introduced a new iteration of the 15th century surface with 28 percent pre-consumer recycled content. The composition comprises marble from the Carrara mountains and a combination of fine stones with varying proportions. The LEED v4-certified tiles are available in both white and black variants and in either 16 x 16 or 24 x 24 inches. ShieldSpray Faucet Delta Faucet By way of a laser-like concentrated jet surrounded by a shield of water, this faucet keeps back splashes at bay while cleaning messes away. It is offered as a single handle pull-down fixture in the Foundry and Esque collections presently, and soon in other models rolling out early this year. Nikola Tesla Elica Completely eliminating the need for a ventilation hood, this innovative system integrated on the cooktop suctions and captures odors and fumes through a centrally-located fan. The automated process is triggered by sensors that perceive the amount and quality of odors present. The induction range is equipped with a double bridge function, which allows for two adjacent cooking zones to be combined as one. Small Appliance Collection Dolce & Gabbana x Smeg At last year’s Salone del Mobile, Smeg debued it’s first collaboration with the famously Sicilian fashion house, Dolce and Gabbana: 100 limited-edition hand-painted refrigerators that celebrate the ornate decorative aesthetic of the brand’s heritage. This time, the duo released a series of smaller-scale appliances (objects that could be classified as decorative arts), including a toaster, a juice, a blender, a coffee machine, and a kettle. Clad in traditional Sicilian motifs and rich colors, the items in the “Sicily Is My Love” collection are adorned with yellow lemons, vibrant citrus fruits, swags, scrolls, and other dynamic symbols that thematically relate to the visual narrative of Sicily. Flotation Tub TOTO At seven feet long, this cradle-shaped tub was devised from tests that measured the perfect balance between floating and lying down, apparently modeled by how astronauts sleep in zero gravity. Added perks include eight air massage jets, an adjustable pillow with a shoulder warmer, and two hydro lumbar jets that mimic the motion of a massage by two hands on the lower back. Dual Fuel Range Perlick Perlick launched its first cooking range complete with 30,000 BTUs of gas-fueled power on each burner. Alternatively, the oven can simmer at ultra-low temperatures with its built-in sous-vide technology. Best of all, it comes with the industry’s first 360° Lazy Susan turntable oven rack and convertible burners.
From Andre Kikoski to Leo Marmol to David Mullman, top architects spill the beans on their favorite products—glazing, surfaces, and finish materials. Lasvit Liquidkristal A molded-glass sheet suitable for interior and exterior applications, the relief pattern is continuous between panels. “In Sophie’s restaurant at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago, we installed a wall of digitally-engineered Liquidkristal by Lasvit. The optical effects of cascading ripples of glass create playful reflections, painterly distortions, and elegant abstract patterns that are beautiful in their subtlety and striking in their boldness.” —Andre Kikoski, Andre Kikoski Architect, New York City Lutron Dorma Digitally controlled commercial lighting-control and monitoring system. Compatible with dimming ballasts. “Lutron and its EcoSystem node allows for multiple lighting atmospheres that enable us to create unique spatial environments, while saving our clients money on their electrical bills.” —Ricardo Alvarez-Diaz, Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon Architecture and Interior Design, Miami/San Juan Duravit Happy D.2 Offered in pedestal, console, and surface-mounted models; with or without tap platform. “We love the simplicity and rounded corners of the Happy D.2 sink from Duravit. It has enough presence to stand on its own as a wall-mounted unit, but can sit happily atop an elegant modern vanity as well. It’s our go-to sink!” —Susan Doban, Doban Architecture, New York City Heath Ceramics Sun Valley Bronze Seven in-stock collections of field, trim, and dimensional tile; custom orders accepted. LEED eligible. “We love the handcrafted, high-quality products that Heath creates; its wonderful tile adorns many of our projects, and we share a set of core design principles that celebrates the efficiency and elegance of modern design.” —Leo Marmol, Marmol Radziner, Los Angeles Luceplan Trama Available as suspension and ceiling/wall model, in 20-inch or 25-inch diameter. Aluminum with polycarbonate diffuser. “The Luceplan Trama fixture gives lots of beautiful light and it’s amazingly easy to change the bulb. For us, it’s often the vendor that is as significant as the product; nothing is more important than good service and help when you need it.” —David Mullman, Mullman Seidman Architects, New York City Vorwerk Re/Cover Green SPVC-free, roll-based floor covering. High slip-resistance. Offered in 30 solid colors and patterns. LEED eligible. “Engineered textiles sourced from sustainable materials—like the Re/Cover line by Vorwerk—is what made us select Relative Space as a design partner at Barclays Center.” —Ayumi Sugiyama, SHoP Architects, New York City Nawkaw LiTHIUM Concrete and Masonry Stains Suitable for use on masonry and pre-cast concrete surfaces, the stain is offered in 40 colors, as well as metallic and reflective finishes. “For exteriors where we can’t match the brick color or where some stucco or coating has been applied to the masonry, one of products that we like a lot these days is LiTHIUM by Nawkaw. It’s similar to paint, but it’s not a film; it actually forms a chemical bond with the surface of the masonry.” —Jerry Caldari, Bromley Caldari Architects, New York City Hansgrohe Croma Green Showerpipe Assembly includes both Raindance S 150 AIR Green 1-jet showerhead and Croma E 100 Green 3-jet handshower. “In hotel renovations, we see a trend to replace the traditional bathtub with a shower. The Croma Green Showerpipe, with its all-in-one, outside-the-wall design is easy to install and service—things which are always a concern, especially in the hospitality sector. The handshower is not only great for guest bathing, but also ideal from a housekeeping perspective.” —Foreman Arden Rodgers, TVS Design, Atlanta
Roman and Williams has worked on high profile projects for NYC's Ace Hotel and the Breslin restaurant, The Standard Hotel and its "iconic" Boom Boom Room, the new food hall for Facebook's campus, celebrity homes for Ben Stiller and Gwyneth Paltrow as well as their own two homes/design laboratories, founders Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch have never launched a product line of their own. For their very first collection they collaborated with Waterworks on R.W. Atlas, a series of industrial yet elegant bathroom fixtures inspired by traditional American craftsmanship. A marble slab tops the Metal Two Leg Single Washstand (below), an Unlacquered Brass stunner that speaks to the collection's overall masculine/feminine power play. “R.W. Atlas is part of our ongoing interest in embracing the idea of American utility, but imbuing that with a sense of glamour and sophistication,” explains Standefer, principal of Roman and Williams. Like the rest of the collection, its primary components are made from brass and are available in a variety of finishes, including Burnished Nickel and Carbon. We appreciate the attention to detail in the knurling on the Single Hook and the Volume Control Valve as well as the consistency of aesthetic in the Exposed Thermostatic System. "This product marries a heritage of great American design perspective with decades of experience engineering and producing the highest quality products. Throughout the process, we were inspired by the idea of utilitarian objects that are made exceptionally well and that work beautifully for generations," said Peter Sallick, Waterworks’ CEO. While each piece is a genuine thing of beauty - a great example of what can happen when good design and quality craftsmanship come together - we wonder whether an entire bathroom-full of R.W. Atlas pieces would look like the set of some steampunk fantasy - albeit a very elegant one. Depending on your taste that might be precisely what you're going for, though we advise being choosey and balancing the Exposed Thermostatic Valve with Metal Wheel Handles, for example, with the comparatively simpler Wall Mounted Lavatory Faucet with Metal Lever Handles.