Sunday, November 13, 2011

Transparent Public Toilet by Anna Lance

This toilet is placed in the middle of a street in Lausanne, Switzerland. The structure is made up of eleven glass sides, designed in 2008. This restroom is placed in a very urban area. The design of the restroom relates to the building across the street from it. The walls are partly made of liquid crystal glass, so at the push of a button the person occupying the bathroom can make the walls opaque. The liquid crystal glass wall is transparent under electric tension, showing its functional and clean interior to the people walking past, but by the press of a button the walls becomes out of tension, causing the glass to go dark, which ensures privacy for the person using the toilet. 
Although you could say this restroom can become pretty private, illegal activity can occur within this fully enclosed space. The designer, Oloom, took this into consideration somewhat when building the structure. If there is too much activity within the space or not enough the walls become transparent again, exposing its insides once again to the outside world. “Partying” or moving around a lot couldn’t occur within the space while the walls were out of tension within the liquid crystal glass. This could still lead to issues in certain places. I think the location of where you would place a public restroom such as this is important. The cost of this toilet also ties into the reason it wouldn’t be the best idea for certain areas. The glass walls could be easily broken. Oloom states “An innovative concept to deal with insecurity problems whilst playing with transparency.”
This toilet fits in our exhibit because of its innovative way of thinking.  It deals with the battle between how private this public toilet actually is. Although it’s enclosed is it really “all that private.” You can actually alter the amount of privacy just by the push of a button!  

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