How can we design restrooms to be safe, comfortable, and inclusive?

Research Project Name

Rethinking the Binary Restroom

What We Did

Restroom access for transgender people has recently entered national conversations and debate. To contribute to this discourse, we explored the long history of research and historical precedents related to segregated restrooms. We followed this research with a survey of Gensler staff, designed to provide aggregated information on our experiences with restroom design. Our firmwide survey included 966 respondents from 35 offices in seven different countries. We quickly realized that restroom access goes far beyond the transgender community, affecting nearly everyone: parents, caregivers, private people, people with disabilities, and people living with special medical needs, among others.

Our next step was outreach. We held roundtable events in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York. We wanted to understand a diversity of perspectives on experiences with restroom design, so we invited participants beyond just design and real estate professionals. Roundtables included members of the LGBTQ community to represent their experiences and concerns directly, alongside other community members, educators, industry leaders, and clients.

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Stephen Swicegood, Melissa McCarriagher, Nick Bryan, Chad Finken, Kathryn Moore, Katy O’Neill, Mara Russo, Haley Reddick, Pia Sachleben, Jennifer Thornton.

Year Completed