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Rethinking Public Toilets


Open Call

The Little Big Loo RETHINKING PUBLIC TOILETS 2020 is now open for entries!
Call for Artists: The Little Big Loo RETHINKING PUBLIC TOILETS 2020, an open ideas architecture competition organised by the magazine “Volume Zero”, invites ideas from students and professionals that can be used to disrupt the perception of public toilets with the most innovative and efficient solution.
About ⇣

The Little Big Loo RETHINKING PUBLIC TOILETS 2020 is an open ideas architecture competition recently organised by the magazine “Volume Zero” that invites students and professionals from all walks to participate.

The world today is experiencing unprecedented demographic growth and consequent urbanization of various places. Rapid population growth in urban areas usually gets coupled with poor planning of physical and social infrastructure along with a lack of individual and communal sanitary consciousness. Such conditions are apt to precipitate poor sanitary practices among urban inhabitants. Open defecation and urination are still rampant in urbanized areas of developing economies and such practices pose a grave risk to the health of the citizens. The World Health Organization and UNICEF link open defecation with grim issues such as poverty, malnutrition, child mortality and large disparities between the rich and poor.

Around the world, around 827,000 people from low and middle income countries die because of inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene each year. Poor sanitation is believed to be the main cause of almost 50% of these deaths. The world is currently facing (witnessing) the COVID-19 pandemic, a calamity of an unforeseen scale that has struck almost every nation. We have also been through other epidemics like SARS, ebola, Cholera, wherein a sizeable portion of the population suffered. Poor sanitation is also one of the prime factors in the onslaught and spread of epidemics and pandemics, calamities that cripple the world’s economy and social fabric.

Owing to the dire importance of communal sanitation and hygiene, there is an urgent need to develop an integrated approach concerning the development of public health services. Although sanitation is expensive, the lack of it hinders the development and safety and generates exponential levels of pollution that severely compromise emerging nations’ liveability. Rethinking Public Toilets invites ideas that can be used to disrupt the perception of public toilets with the most innovative and efficient solution for this serious issue plaguing our future. This necessary public utility is to be designed in a way that changes the overall outlook towards public washrooms. The designed area can be recreational, educational, social; a space that creates value for the community surrounding it. The space should be visualized as a prime component in the making of a community that develops holistically; a community that is competent in social, economic and educational terms.


Participants should unlearn how a conventional public toilet looks like and design an innovative, functional and a visually appealing design that serves as a building icon, synchronizing with the surrounding context. The primary use of the designed structure should be as a public toilet. Alongside this, the structure should be innovatively designed as a space for community interaction, in addition to its primary function. The space should be additionally visualized as a recreational/ educational/ social/ urban functional area. The total area of the space should not exceed 100 All age groups of the demography should be able to use the space. The additional space aspect of the toilet should add value to society and the site’s context. The design should be efficient in terms of planning, hygiene, odour-free surrounding and space usage. The designed toilet should be comfortable/ convenient to use. The design intervention should be aimed to address the efficiency of public restrooms, their sanitary facilities, spatial distribution and mainly, privacy and comfort, which ultimately improve peoples’ lives. The design can act as a module, which can be replicated in different areas similar to the site context chosen. The design should be capable of catering a footfall of 250-500 people.

Participants can select a site in an urban OR a rural context. There can be an emphasis on deprived locations, irrespective of the site being in an urban or rural area. The site should be carefully placed to accommodate the number of footfalls (circulation in transit hours must be considered). It must be justified with the need for sanitation services.


A single A1 sheet must be submitted in JPEG format (150 DPI Resolution), file size not exceeding 5 MB.
All text must be in English, with a maximum of 200 words for project explaination with a readable font size (to be provid-ed on the A1 sheet.


Concept Innovation – The participants are to design an innovative public toilet space and make them exceptional, unlike the conventional idea of communal toilets/ washrooms
Site Selection – Participants are to select a site best suited for the development of an innovative public toilet. The entries will be evaluated based on the site justification given
Spatial Design – The entries will be evaluated based on creativity displayed in the spatial design and configuration of areas
Multipurpose Utility – Apart from the primary use as a public toilet, the utility of the spaces will be evaluated. The participants are to creatively design the multipurpose utility of the spaces

Winners will be announced on 1st October 2020. Entry fees:

➜ Early Registration (13 Apr – 18 June) – USD 70 + 18% Tax
➜ Regular Registrations (19 Jun – 24 July) – USD 85 + 18% Tax

The Little Big Loo RETHINKING PUBLIC TOILETS 2020 is open to students and professionals from all walks.
Prize ⇣
The following prizes will be awarded:

➜ 1st prize winner – $ 2000 USD + certificate of achievement,
➜ 2nd prize winner – $ 1200 USD + certificate of achievement,
➜ 3rd prize winner – $ 800 USD + certificate of achievement,.

The winning designs will be published on Volume Zero Magazine website and their international media partner’s websites. The winning team will also have an interview published.


deadline:  July 24th 2020
more info: //