Playful public toilet gets high marks from preschool class
Our Family Toilet is intended to provide children with a safer, more secure experience when visiting the toilet – and children’s opinions are therefore especially important to us. That’s why, working in cooperation with the City of Helsingborg, we have developed a public toilet concept based on interviews with children. Last week, we invited a class from the Dibber Valpebo mobile preschool in Örebro to hear what they had to say about the new concept.
Public toilet built with children in mind
A public toilet should be accessible to everyone. But public toilets are not always built with children in mind. With the Family Toilet, we took their insights into account to make our new toilet more child-friendly. The basin is low so children can reach it, the hand drier is silent, so it won’t seem scary, and the space is big enough to accommodate parents and teachers helping out. The door to the toilet opens with a pushbutton, and there’s a toilet for children next to a big one. To make toilet visits more fun and reassuring for children, the buildings always have a playful decorative theme.
A public toilet that’s a cut above
The Family Toilet to be placed in Helsingborg was manufactured in Nora. Last week, the children from Valpebo preschool were the first to try it out. The exterior is zebra-striped. Once inside, the children encountered all sorts of animals on the savanna, and were surprised to find tiger tracks and elephant poop on the floor.
“Obviously it makes things easier both for us as teachers and for our children if there are toilets at our outing destinations – and if they are in the same class as the Family Toilet, the outing is a lot more fun,” says Camilla Viktorsson, a teacher at Valpebo.
The preschool Valpebo
“Wow, look, there are two toilets!” said the children, “And an elephant riding in a balloon!” Their reactions showed that they were impressed by the animal world we had built up. We succeeded in creating an environment that really appeals to children. It was a pleasure to see how they reacted. Children’s reactions are never artificial. You see their real feelings.
The feedback we received during the visit made both us and our partner, the City of Helsingborg, proud.
“Toilets more generally ought to create the kind of happy reactions the Family Toilet does,” says Camilla Viktorsson. “Most are fairly boring, austere and not at all child-friendly. The Family Toilet makes the children feel safe and secure.”
Children suggest future public toilets
The children offered several fun suggestions for future Family Toilet themes, including a Star Wars toilet, a toilet with a rainbow theme, and a toilet for pirates. Excellent ideas, we from Danfo thought. We’re already imagining how a toilet visit with Darth Vader might look.
Working together to create the safe, secure public toilets of the future.
In Helsingborg, there’s a desire to make the city more child-friendly. To succeed with this, we need to become better at listening to and taking action based on the needs and wishes of children. It was an insight from everyday life – when a five-year-old didn’t want to go to a public toilet on a visit to a playground – that provided the initial idea for a toilet that puts children’s user experience in focus.
But it didn’t just stop with an idea. The Family Toilet is a collaboration between the City of Helsingborg and Danfo with the goal of providing children a safe, family-friendly, playful toilet experience.
“Through interviews with children and families in Helsingborg, we identified the problems, thoughts, ideas and possible solutions that were the basis for the Family Toilet,” says Pamela Sjöstrand, a landscape architect at the City of Helsingborg’s city planning office. “Unfortunately, we can’t promise a toilet seat in the shape of a princess’s jewelled throne, as one child suggested. We can, however, promise a public toilet designed based on the children’s thoughts about how a safe, secure toilet should be, with decorative themes that match the playgrounds as a bonus.”
The project is part of H22, which is working to connect, encourage and promote new ideas that can help Helsingborg become a smarter, more sustainable, more considerate city with good quality of life in every part of the city, today and tomorrow. Welcome to the H22 City Expo in Helsingborg from 30 May to 3 July. There you can try out Helsingborg’s two new, child-friendly public toilets.
More partners / suppliers in this project:
Facade and children's sink in enamelled sheet metal
Finemal OY, www.finemal.com, design Elisabeth Möllerström, City of Helsingborg
Interior walls and ceiling in printed laminate
Wallsystems Glimåkra of Sweden, www.glimakra.com, design Elisabeth Möllerström, City of Helsingborg
Everstyle® Art & Image Tiles, www.everstyle.se, design Bibbi Evermark, Everstyle