Bathroom stall design

I recently had the pleasure of attending the National Conference on the Beginning Design Student [NCBDS] hosted by UNC-Charlotte. I had a ball meeting new friends and learning new pedagogical techniques. Just prior to the opening night’s keynote by Simon Unwin, participants had a chance to wander around Mario Botta’s new Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Included in my wandering was the ladies’ room, where I took some photos of the frosted glass bathroom stall:




As you can see, there is nowhere in this 8 foot high stall where a prying eye might see you. In your average bathroom stall, however, there are gaps all over the place, like between the door and the partition on both sides. Two of my lady students, one from Calcutta and the other from Tehran, asked me during a chance rendez-vous in the University bathroom why these gaps exist. I couldn’t explain. I’ve heard the theory that the purpose of these gaps is for authority figures to make sure only one person occupies a single stall at a single time. Clearly, if this is true, it’s only true in the United States. Such thoughts remind me to look around for tiny webcams whenever I enter a public bathroom. Point 1 for voyeurism.