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Social Design: Student Projects

ELISA OTANEZ MENDIVIL

YELLOW SPOT

Public toilets are artefacts that acknowledge human beings through recognising, with varying degrees of dignity, the functionality of the body. In Eindhoven, there is a lack of public toilets for women, which represents a form of coercion, segregation, and discrimination frompublic space. Now that women have joined the workforce and are present in public space, why do toilets remain a

public good accessible almost exclusively to men? The Yellow Spot is a toilet designed to test the peeing needs of women as well as potential locations for placing them in the near future. Materializing the absence of toilets for women is a way to recognize this absence. Installing a temporal toilet is also a critique of the municipality of Eindhoven and its inability to provide solutions. In doing so, it raises awareness of women’s needs in the city and how these often go unrecognised by public offices.

The Yellow Spot establishes an alternative model of city making by opening a stream of communication about how toilets for women could be designed. The integration of a gender perspective in the processes of ideation and testing contributes to avoiding stereotypical assumptions about women, which are critical in a project that refers to the body and gender. The Yellow Spot toilet’s implicit language of impermanence suggests that its functions become permanent, meaning that a proper design for toilets for women must be provided following their needs: the urgency to pee in the city.

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