pro bono architecture

November 8, 2010

I’m not trained or certified in building design, but I do have a deep abiding interest in it, in kind of a niche way.

Sort of.

It’s like this. I use a bathroom almost every day. Do you see where I’m going with this?

(No worries, I’m not sure myself. Let’s just see how it plays out.)

On Friday I had an offsite meeting with the “Operations” team to work on our company mission statement. But as easy a post to write as that would be, I’m not here to talk about mission statements, I’m here to talk about bathrooms.

You would think since we held the meeting at some fancy law firm’s offices, I would have only glowing things to say about there bathroom. You would think.

But look:

law firm bathroom

It’s a little hard to see the problem, so I’ll have to walk  you through it.

I took this picture from the doorway of the bathroom. On the right, just out of frame, there are two stalls, and to my immediate right is a urinal.

Here’s the fatal design flaw. I come into the bathroom, I turn hard right, and use the urinal. Then I wash my hands, using that sink you see closest on the left.

But now that my hands are wet, I look to my left for some paper towels.

Denied. The only paper towels are down at the far end.

So I traverse the length of the bathroom, past two stalls occupied by, you know, occupants, en medias res. I grab a paper towel, and, in a hurry to get away from the medias res, I dry my hands on the way back to the door.

But there’s no trash can by the door. The only trash can is the one you see in the picture, at the far end of the bathroom.

You think I’m walking the gauntlet again? No.

You think I’m carrying my wet paper towel back to the conference room with me looking for a trash can?

No. Now I’m just dropping my paper towel on the ground and fleeing the scene.

See, I don’t want money for this sort of thing. I just want these guys to call me.

“Hey, we’re about to open a new bathroom in our building, can you come take a look before we cut the ribbon?”

That sort of thing.

I’d do it pro bono.


9 Responses to “pro bono architecture”

  1. JB Says:

    Did you use the paper towel to open the door, so you didn’t get bathroom germs on your clean hands? There should always be a trashcan by the door for that purpose.

  2. stevebpt Says:

    you could have left it on the counter at least.

    Given your experience in bathrooms and obvious interest you should be able to qualify as an expert and consultant. Especially having read the applicable literature on the subject. New career direction!!

  3. BM Says:

    Ah….A sort of Le Corbusier de la crapper. Sounds like a nuche to me.

  4. KanyonKris Says:

    In a better world you could make a living doing bathroom consulting.

    I also see the air freshener is at the other end of the gauntlet so you can’t use it to clear the way.

    BTW, I’ve got a bathroom experience post tomorrow that really could have used your consultation.

  5. Elden Says:

    My blog needs a mission statement.

  6. Steve The BigRide Says:

    This one is easy – the designer was a basketball fan.
    Get your towels, hit the air freshener to let the occupied know they need to lay off the extra protein and on your way out the door turn and take a shot

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