Net of Public Toilet

October 10, 2018

“How do people affected by lack of access to public services invoke their own “basic needs” and speak about the politics and poetics of various infrastructures in their everyday life? Infrastructure can be seen as a point of departure, a useful tool towards other projects, such as figuring out how to change the terms of connection… the question is not so much connectivity per se but how to create and reshape the terms of connection to other beings, human and non-human.”

Bettima Stoetze, ‘Infrastructure_Peripheral Visions and Bodies that Matter: A Commentary’.


If you have been to Stockholm, you know how difficult it is to find public toilets in the city centre. Public toilets are rare, they are charged for, and they are often located in the back of stores and other hard-to-find places. To make things worse, the toilets can only be opened by sending a text message from a mobile phone registered in Sweden.

Society works as a hole machine with all parts together and every part will only be revealed when it does not work perfectly. Just like public transport, such as bus and subway, public toilet is also a part of base of daily life. And on the other hand, public toilets also connect with each other to build a net. But unlike the public transport, the toilet is kind of failure to visitors and locals especially when they need to prepare coins, while cashless consumption is pursued in Stockholm. Besides, what happens in the between-space? Is that proper in human scale? Not to far away also not dense? Is the way lead to toilets clear in the between-space? In my opinion, the public toilets do not work properly either in itself, or with each other.

Public realized, there were not enough public toilet in Stockholm. So in the year of 2016, government built 42 more toilets in Stockholm. But is that already enough? From my point of view, it is not. Not only the number of public toilets, but also the way lead to toilet is also chaos. I think, as an architect or a designer in infrastructure or urban design, we have the responsibility to build our city nicer to people. And as public, we should find our way to speak out loud, what is our daily need.

Xiaowei Wei_Task 2


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