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Catherine Joseph, Whitney Odell | FXCollaborative

Figure 2

The #BeYouNYC campaign references a fluid understanding of gender identity and gender expression, as indicated by the effort to look past binary toilet room labeling of men/ women and pink/blue. Source: NYC Commission on Human Rights

as places to discreetly take medicine or address medical needs, take refuge from stressful situations, find privacy required by religious beliefs, change a baby’s diaper, and many others. Gender-specification does not seem to be a necessity to properly defining a toilet room. What has become increasing clear in the last few decades, however, is that the current design schemes and legal doctrines that govern bathrooms, which have not been significantly altered or addressed

in many decades, are inadequate in allowing all people to feel that they have the ability to comfortably and safely use the bathroom. In an effort to provide a useful study of and argument for the gender desegregation of bathrooms, this paper has been undertaken in parts. The politics of gender and the gendered power of space will be considered in the context of gender segregation in toilet rooms. Current toilet room design parameters and stakeholders will be analyzed, particularly in relation to proposed legislation, current code requirements and anticipated efficiencies. Finally, a speculative design discussion, fundamentally grounded in a new questioning of the


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