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On Public Toilets in Beijing

Tim C. Geisler
Journal of Architectural Education (1984-)
Vol. 53, No. 4 (May, 2000), pp. 216-219
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1425565
Page Count: 4
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On Public Toilets in Beijing
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Abstract

Public Toilets in China, as in most parts of the world throughout history, are stigmatized as unclean, associated with illicit activity, and joked about. But they were conceived by the Communists in China as symbols of cooperative living. Although they still pose grave sanitation problems, they exemplify communist ideals of simplicity, functionalism, and working-class sensibilities. They employ sound architectural principles of lighting, ventilation, and urban situation, and are playful in design. Communist Urbanism, defined as the spatial order of communal living, reserves a place of honor for the public toilet.

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