Faculty: Beth Tauke
ARC 605- Graduate Studio
Students: Courtney Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Michael Moch, Patrick Connolly, Todd Graci
How can inclusive design approaches improve private spaces within public spaces? The Inclusive Design Graduate Research Group Studio experimented with new notions about the public toilet, and, in so doing, attempted to change attitudes about these facilities that resonate with the broader population. The Buffalo Grain Elevators, considered both shelter during disasters and as new space for public events, were the site for these investigations.
Although public toilets are critical components of urban environments, more often than not, they are marginal spaces used only as a last resort. Public lavatories, which juxtapose private bodily functions with streetscapes, challenge architects to consider criteria that are often overlooked in the design process: sensory experience, equity, identity, socio/cultural appropriateness, psychological/behavioral issues, gender and age issues, timing, flexibility, safety, security, cleanliness, convenience, and comfort.
Inclusive design methods were utilized for the projects. These included ergonomic studies, sensory investigations, identity research, and user input including focus groups. The Seven Principles of Universal Design and the Universal Design Focus Areas were used as design guides and evaluation criteria. Additionally, more traditional design approaches such as site analysis, circulation diagramming, formal operations, and material investigations were used as well.