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Itty-Bitty Baths Inspire Daft Designs

While urban dwellers enjoy ready access to city amenities, a trade-off is the distinctly urban micro-bath. Why, I could fit most of these city loos inside my obnoxious suburban garden tub…which I never use, as it requires an obnoxious amount of water!

If you’re dealing with cramped quarters in your citified bath, the solution, as always, is abundant dollars and over-the-top design ideas. Read more

Slummin’ It at Hyde Park

Is this a photo from a poverty-stricken location in the developing world? No, it’s from the men’s restroom in London’s Hyde Park on the occasion of World Toilet Day, November 19, 2009. (Why just the men’s room, I wonder?)

The charity WaterAid made it “real” for London loo-goers who surely expected flushing toilets, soap, clean water and a reasonably tidy facility. Instead, visitors came face to face with the deplorable conditions that are endured by nearly half the world’s population.

Watch the report on “Loo-ve Been Framed” by Cynthia Chandran for Asianlite on YouTube:

Here’s another take on the event by Lincolnshire Young Journalist Academy’s Jake, from Sleaford’s Carres school newsroom (I think the kid has a bright future in journalism!)

The Golden Poo Awards. Really.

Toilet humor (humour) has moved out of the school yard and into the studios of some of the UK’s most creative animators. I thought I was good at the potty puns and chuckles, but the threshold has been raised to astounding heights with the winners of the short film “Golden Poo Awards” announced October 15th. In fact, it’s so over the top, I spent a few minutes pondering if it could be some sort of prank!

PooP Creative (really!) and The London International Animation Festival (LIAF) jointly promoted the competition to tackle the serious issues of sanitation and hygiene in an edgy, irreverent and humorous way.

And “the issues” aren’t limited to the poorer, less developed regions of the world. According to the site,

How Dirty Are YOU? More than 1 in four people have faecal matter on their hands! Britain’s 12M cases of norovirus, gastroenteritis, MRSA, E-Coli and now Swine Flu infections are mainly down to dirty hands. (Dirty Hands Study via London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

I think they succeeded splendidly…the films are creative, funny, engaging, expressive and memorable. Following the top 2 entries, see more here at the Golden Poo Awards site.

First Place: Dancing In The Loo by Delphine Mandin

Second Place: A Film About Poo by Emily Howells & Anne Wilkins

Can you Spare a Square for Art?

If only I had the time to sit down, think and reflect, share my thoughts with others…wait, perhaps I “doo!”

Artinloo is a collaborative photo project where people express what’s on their minds while alone in the loo. Why the restroom? As the site explains,

Because it is one of the few places in the world where people are almost unproductive and really alone with themselves!

If you’re unwilling to stand for the sake of art, here are the guidelines for making a submission:

1. Once alone in the loo, express on a piece of toilet paper what you are thinking about at that moment. 2. Be as original/sensible/artistic/humoristic as possible when you personalize your piece of toilet paper. The goal is to break the taboo surrounding this room and to evoke emotion and create discussion. 3. Once finished, take a photo of your creation and email it at artinloo@gmail.com.

Some inspiration to get you started:

Go in Style: 2009 Finalists for Best Public Restroom

Go the the polls…or maybe go AT the polls…and make your vote count for the 2009 edition of America’s Best (Public) Restroom. (Voting ends July 31, 2009.) You can vote here; the main website is here; and check out the fascinating “ABR Hall of Fame“, featuring Top Flush standouts since 2002.

We, of course, must accept that this is a sponsored affair, by Cintas Corp., a company that, surprise! …makes restroom supplies. (Unintentionally-funny line in the site’s header: “…as voted on by the Internet Public.” Because of course, that’s totally different from the normal, general public!

The field has been narrowed to ten finalists for the creme de la creme of public facilities. On this exclusive Thirsty in Suburbia LooLocator® map, we can see a good regional distribution of the finalist facilities, although if you’re cruising the interstate through Colorado or South Carolina, you’re going to be holding it for awhile.

Following, the finalists, flush with pride, no doubt!

My vote? Fortunately, you don’t have to choose just one, you get to “rank” each on scale of 1 to 10. I have a great love for grand old hotels and theaters, but a “touchless environment” sounds appealing, too!

Shoji Tabuchi Theater in Branson, MO: marble fireplaces, hand-carved mahogany pool table, antiques, lion’s head sinks, leather chairs, stained glass and chandeliers.

 Radio City Music Hall in New York NY: Designed in the early 1930’s, restroom and lounges feature classic tile work, art deco furnishings and unique materials, including cork- covered walls.

 Zeffirino Ristorante – Venetian Resort, Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada:Custom-made mosaic tile artwork, Carra marble floors, Venetian plaster, Murano Glass chandeliers and washbasins, limestone water fountain and private restroom suites.

 Canlis Restaurant, Seattle, Washington: Zen-like atmosphere, handmade organic wall coverings, designer fixtures, Japanese art, large picture windows overlooking garden.

 The Tremont Plaza Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland: Extensive use of imported marble, grand columns, chandeliers, hand-carved woodwork.

 The Tampa Theater, Tampa, Florida:Designed in the 1920s, vitrolite glass on walls, intricate tile designs, pipe-shaped sconces.

 Macy’s Union Square, 6th Floor, San Francisco, California: Art Deco design, Italian marble, chandelier with carved ceiling medallion, full-length stainless steel stall doors.

 The Drake Hotel: Palm Court, Chicago, Illinois: Palm tree murals, private suites, in-stall makeup tables, elegant sconces, an array of chandeliers

 NOVA 535, St. Petersburg, Florida:Full-length solid birch stall doors, Italian mocha travertine with black granite diamond inserts, completely touch-less environment.

 The Fox Theater, Detroit, Michigan: Designed in 1928, custom-made furniture and tile, hard-carved moldings, chandeliers.