This paper focuses on improving the experience of women using high traffic public restrooms in the U.S. By looking into the past studies on the insufficient numbers of ladies’ rooms provided under building codes and the lack of accommodations for multi-tasking, with further research on public restroom cleanliness and personal privacy, this paper proposes that all four of those contribute to an unpleasant experience. At the same time, little has been done to address these problems nationwide and most of the relevant research is out of date. To further understand the overall experience women go through, a survey was conducted and analyzed. The results highlight concerns on cleanliness and skin contact, the need for accommodation on tasks other than elimination, and the compromise of privacy in a public environment. These unmet need also are related to the delays in use and waiting time. By concluding these findings, this paper argues that it is the lack of research and investigation which impedes the progress of both design and legislation. Therefore, this paper poses that: first, further study is needed on what contributes to these factors in public restrooms and how it could be applied to the redesign of the public restrooms, thus a fundamental research base could be provided for legislators, designers, and architects; second, a clean and convenient public toilet design, “Hoilet System”, could be applied in public restrooms to address these problems.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women's restrooms--Design; Toilets--Design

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Alex Lobos

Advisor/Committee Member

Mindy Magyar

Advisor/Committee Member

Mary Golden


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes