Urinal Interface Design
January 18, 2003 11:05 PM   Subscribe

Urinal Interface Design. Our aim is to keep this place clean. Your aim will help. [via guuui]
posted by kirkaracha (32 comments total)
No, no. It's "We aim to please. You aim too, please."
posted by staggernation at 11:11 PM on January 18, 2003

Apparently, this design didn't work so well. Hey, is that why they put those cigarette butts in urinals?
posted by samuelad at 11:40 PM on January 18, 2003

They could put a Chevy logo in there, or a peeing Calvin.
posted by Dick Paris at 12:11 AM on January 19, 2003

But can anyone explain why restaurants so frequently put 400 ice cubes in the urinals? Does chilling my pee make it somehow more hygenic? I admit, the feeling of power I get at melting the ice does make the going to the bathroom a little more fun for me, but really, I'm good with just the plain urinal, thanks.
posted by jonson at 12:40 AM on January 19, 2003

It's them pesky, odiferous molecules, jonson.
posted by Opus Dark at 12:56 AM on January 19, 2003

Is PETA aware of this potential insect asbuse?
posted by HTuttle at 1:11 AM on January 19, 2003

"Help me! Help me!"
posted by Opus Dark at 1:44 AM on January 19, 2003

No, it's "We aim to please, so please aim." At least that's what my mom painted on the mural behind our toilet.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:30 AM on January 19, 2003

What's the deal with the low-rider urinals that are showing up everywhere? You'll find a row of regular urinals and then one set about a foot lower. In newer bathrooms there is at least one set low even if there are only two urinals. I assume it's an ADA thing - urinals set at the normal height were discriminating against midgets or guys with extermely long penises. Often the low one is the only one not in use so you have to use it and then you get piss splash all over your pants legs.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:09 AM on January 19, 2003


Adults aren't the only ones who use urinals. Kids gots ta go too sometimes.
posted by darkpony at 6:16 AM on January 19, 2003

And TimeFactor, let's not discount those of us with prohibitively huge equipment. We suffer in silence.
posted by jonson at 7:42 AM on January 19, 2003

Jonson is serious about the ice. It's not new, but the trend has been growing in Manhattan. I've seen it in Europe as well. It does work: smells are drastically reduced. However, there is sometimes a tendency to overfill the urinals with ice, leading to more splattering.

The another good thing about ice is that it's cheaper than urinal mints.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:50 AM on January 19, 2003

saw an exhibit recently on trompe l'oeil flies like it might be kinda a joke (see "Giotto's Flies and the Observation of Nature"): "There is no creature so small that it does not represent the goodness of God," as Thomas à Kempis wrote in the early fifteenth century. The highly illusionistic flies and other insects that appear in northern manuscripts and illustrated books reflect this appreciation for all of God's creations.
posted by kliuless at 8:25 AM on January 19, 2003

Personally, I've found the introduction of dividers between the urinals to be the best urinal-related invention of late. Now one can go to any of the urinals to relieve oneself, and avoid the social faux pas of choosing the wrong one (though does this mean that the statistical science of choosing the right urinal will die out?)
posted by filmgoerjuan at 8:29 AM on January 19, 2003

There was an Italian restaurant here in Chicago that I used to frequent with my family when I was a child. They had ice in the urinals.

My father, in typical style, suggested that this was how the italian lemon ice was produced.

At six years old, I thought that was the funniest thing. Ever.
posted by aladfar at 8:58 AM on January 19, 2003

>>>> I would love to know if Dutch toilet user interface designers (there's a title for a business card!) tried focus groups with other icons - bees, smiley faces, eye icons, circles, letters?
Hmm. I bet little pictures of Saddam and Osama scored highly in the North American focus groups :)
posted by kaemaril at 8:59 AM on January 19, 2003

I so wish that all public toilets had dividers between the urinals. I'm mostly over my shy bladder problem, but it still weirds me out that full-grown men are expected to stand shoulder-to-shoulder when pissing.

It really freaks me out when a complete stranger tries to hold a conversation with me while pissing...
posted by five fresh fish at 9:23 AM on January 19, 2003

That's a nice looking unit you have there fella.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:28 AM on January 19, 2003

i saw the flies only last week. they really are wonderful. i'll bet, however, that the guy who took the photo waited for the room to be empty before whipping his photo apparatus out.

two bladder relief questions:

1. i've noticed urinals in north america (maybe only canada, i can't remember for sure) have the drain holes in a rough outline of a penis. is this intentional?
2. my good friend (not me) likes to play, um, 'games' when urinating into the toilet (not the urinal), such as flushing first and then chasing the disappearing water with his own stream, or dropping a polo mint (you know, lifesavers) into the pan and chasing it around. does anyone else have any interesting games to play? i personally find the act of emptying my bladder to be sufficiently satisfying by itself for me to not bother playing games. but maybe that's because i haven't found the right ones yet.
posted by nylon at 9:33 AM on January 19, 2003

TimeFactor, your assumption is correct. The low urinal is an ADA thing. Some things in the ADA guidelines are self-explanatory but not that one. Personally, I think the low urinal is an absurd solution which would be better solved by a redesigning urinals to meet the guideline. A related example: there's a sink made by American Standard in Canada, which became available in the states and met ADA guidelines only after architects in the US hunted the thing down. It met the guidelines better than any other solution and also happened to be a fine looking sink (as sinks go for institutional uses that is.) It may seem a simple thing but a sink which meets ADA requirements has to have a certain depth to the leading edge from the wall (for reach to the faucets), a certain height of the rim above the floor, a certain amount of clearance underneath (never mind floor area in front of the sink itself), and, here's the killer, a certain depth from the rim to the drain (the total depth of the sink). Why am I boring you with all this? /way off topic
posted by Dick Paris at 10:30 AM on January 19, 2003

does anyone else have any interesting games to play?

my brother likes to take a dump and destroy it with his pee/piss stream.
posted by kliuless at 10:41 AM on January 19, 2003

We're edging into the category known as "too much information," here, guys.
posted by ook at 10:55 AM on January 19, 2003

I think a picture of Dubya would be appropriate I know it would improve my aim.
posted by onegoodmove at 4:21 PM on January 19, 2003

"No matter how you shake and dance, the last drop always falls in your pants."
posted by pekar wood at 4:44 PM on January 19, 2003

This seems horrible to me, like it ruins the whole bathroom. If it were a black dot centered or something. Maybe it's my OCD shining through.
posted by rhyax at 4:52 PM on January 19, 2003

does anyone else have any interesting games to play?

I got your game, right here!
posted by Wet Spot at 5:00 PM on January 19, 2003

"Man, this water's cold!"

"Deep, too!"
posted by Wet Spot at 5:01 PM on January 19, 2003

The another good thing about ice is that it's cheaper than urinal mints.

I seriously doubt that.
posted by mischief at 9:52 PM on January 19, 2003

Exscuse me while I file that under "stuff I didn't need to know", kliuless :)

I find the lack of dividers to be quite odd. And I don't even want to talk to someone while I have my hand on my pipe.

And, to quote Don King: I wash my hands before I touch my unit.
posted by shadow45 at 11:04 PM on January 19, 2003

Games? We got games!

Also, does anyone else remember a New York bar, some thirty years ago, that mounted a fly with an electrical contact on the side of the urinal but higher than one should aim? The point was that if you "hit" the fly it would cause a bell to ring and a light to flash out in the bar area.
Upon returning from the lavatory, the "marksman" would be given a standing ovation and would be let in on the joke (usually by one of the barmaids).
posted by ahimsakid at 7:39 AM on January 20, 2003

Ooops, here's the games:
posted by ahimsakid at 7:40 AM on January 20, 2003

Birthday Urinal Cake
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:59 PM on January 20, 2003

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