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New public toilets have opened in Tokyo, Japan. While normally more public restrooms would offer relief to park-goers, these new toilets come with a twist–these new restroom cubicles are completely transparent.
According to The Guardian, these new park installations were created by the Pritzker prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban and more than a dozen other leading designers, and are made from colored “smart glass” that turns opaque when the cubicles are occupied.
In discussing the concept of the transparent toilet, The Tokyo Toilet Project mentions that at a park there are two things that people are worried about when using the restroom: cleanliness, and if someone is in the restroom. The transparent restrooms eliminate both of those concerns– potential users can view the restroom before paying to use it.
As if these toilets couldn’t get any cooler, the toilets light the park up at night. The “night light” that these restrooms provide are great for women’s safety– you can use them at night, without being worried about someone in the restroom.
The Nippon Foundation is the non-profit organization that created the Tokyo Toilet Project. The project was initiated “to build public toilets that can be used by anyone. The new toilets were built as a way of moving toward the realization of a society that embraces diversity,” according to the Nippon Foundation.
The project plans to install the toilets at 17 locations in Shibuya by next spring, according to The Guardian.
While this high tech design has only been released in Tokyo, this concept wouldn’t be a bad idea for Houston parks like Herman and Memorial Park to adopt. Though I can’t say for sure that I would use them– with my luck, the opaque-ness would run out when I need to use the restroom.