Creative designs for changing needs : cases studies on public toilet systems and facilities

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic research


Since the late nineteenth century, people have given more consideration to public toilet systems (also known as restrooms, bathrooms, washrooms, or sanitary systems). These kinds of systems and facilities are important to people's health, while also an inseparable part of our everyday life. Generating creative (and suitable) designs for public toilet systems and facilities is always the objective and dream of environmental and product designers. One of the major reasons is that "public" is a very challenging topic, as users are not identical. Another major reason is that toilet systems are an area related to changing behavior, which is continuously affected by different and also changing physiological, psychological, social, cultural and ideological factors. According to the case studies on public toilets in Hong Kong and other cities, this paper initiates the 6-Ps Principle: Participation, Policy, Plan, Preparation, Promotion, Practice. To deal with continuously changing human expectations, preferences and behavior, the Principle can be considered an "action approach" to the design (or thinking and consideration) process for the implementation of public toilet systems and facilities. The paper identifies the importance of each element (or stage) of the Principle, and discusses how these elements are linked to each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-82
Number of pages12
JournalKorean journal of thinking and problem solving
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Creative design
  • User
  • Public toilet
  • Product design
  • User fitness


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