It would be a nightmare to have to do your business in front of a public audience, however, Japan has managed to turn this into reality by placing five transparent toilet cubicles that are entirely see-through around Tokyo’s public parks in the capital’s Shibuya district.
Created by Pritzker prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban along with more than a dozen leading designers, the transparent toilets are made from coloured “smart glass” that turn opaque once the toilet is in used by someone. This unusual but yet creative idea is also part of the Tokyo Toilet project, organised by the nonprofit Nippon Foundation.
Creativeness aside, the foundation has practical reasoning behind the unusual toilets’ design.
“There are two concerns with public toilets, especially those located in parks. The first is whether it is clean inside, and the second is that no one is secretly waiting inside,” said the foundation to The Guardian.
The advantages about this odd bathroom project is that the user can catch a glimpse of whether the toilets are cleaned through the transparent glass before spending their money on it, and since the walls are coloured, they ultimately look like lanterns when lit up at night making the streets bright as ever.
Despite Japan’s reputation for hygiene, many locals still have the perception that public facilities are “dark, dirty, smelly and scary,” according to the foundation.
The foundation also plans to install the toilets at 17 locations in Shibuya by next spring and hopes to debunk the idea of public toilets being dirty and smelly.
Can we expect our public toilets to be like this in the future, and would you use them?