A New York architect offers up a unique solution to the ongoing “bathroom bill” debate in an animated video “op-ed,” which can be viewed above.
In “Bathrooms By Size: How Architecture Can Solve Problems,” Esther Sperber suggests that labeling restrooms by size, as opposed to gender, would eliminate the arguments favoring “bathroom bills” like North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which effectively prohibit transgender people from using public facilities that correspond with the gender identity. In the clip, Sperber explains why she believes that such categorizing would not only function better for those who don’t fit into a traditional male/female gender binary, but also address other issues, like long lines at women’s restrooms.
“I like to think that good architecture can solve problems,” Sperber, who is the founder of Studio ST Architects in New York, says in the video.
A number of U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have taken steps toward implementing gender neutral restrooms in recent years. Supporters have been quick to point to the lesser-known benefits of such measures. For instance, parents of a different gender would be allowed to accompany children into the restroom, and issues for individuals who employ caretakers of the opposite gender would be eliminated.
“It became clear to me that the typical gender divided public bathroom creates inconvenient situations which affect a wide range of the population,” she said. “Innovative solutions, both in architectural design and in other field, often emerge when the problem itself is redefined.”
Ultimately, Sperber hopes that video “inspires others to join me in finding new solutions to this question.”
What do you think?