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a public inconvenience

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Date: 26 / 27 October 2007
Location: Waag Society, Amsterdam

Technologies designed for the city often try to abstract away from the inconvenient necessities which our bodies require. Subterranean, ceramic-tiled bathrooms, plastic temporary urinals or compact, metallic washrooms in transit spaces; public toilets are an often-overlooked space in our urban environment. Designs for public toilets often focus on supporting cultural values of hygeniene and privacy. What do we miss by ignoring the fact that public toilets are also the site for a variety of social practices?

'A Public Inconvenience' will explore the experience and affect of public toilets in an urban environment, in this case Amsterdam. Through observation and engagement we will consider how public toilets are shaped by, and themselves shape, cultural practices, values, and attitudes. And further, how this essential part of the urban fabric contributes to the everyday experience we have of our cities.

'A Public Inconvenience' is the third in a series of workshops exploring in-between-ness in urban environments. We define in-between-ness as the places and times that are often on the periphery of everyday life - the journey to work or the time spent queuing in a shop.

Submissions:
Send to karen.martin@ucl.ac.uk by 17th September 2007.
Acceptance Notification is 24th September 2007

Organisers:
Arianna Bassoli (The London School of Economics)
Johanna Brewer (University of California, Irvine)
Karen Martin (Bartlett School of Graduate Studies)
Valentina Nisi (Fattoria Mediale)
Martine Posthuma de Boer (Fattoria Mediale)

The workshop is supported by:
The Waag Society and Fattoria Mediale.

Karen Martin is supported by EPSRC and BT. Arianna Bassoli would like to acknowledge the support of the EU funded Bionets project. Johanna Brewer is supported by the NSF

public urinal in amsterdam

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