Bartlett Academic curates Toilet Architecture Exhibition
2 October 2014
Dr Barbara Penner, Senior Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Architecture and author of Bathroom (Reaktion, 2014) curated an exhibition 'Toilets: Evolution or Revolution?' as part of Clerkenwell Design Quarter in September. The exhibition was hosted by Japanese sanitaryware manufacturer Toto, and featured photographs of diverse and surprising toilet architecture from roman baths to outhouses to the 1970s ‘Ultrasonic Bathing Machine’ and present-day self-cleaning toilets.
The exhibition highlighted how, rather than being neutral, bathrooms are incredibly complex spaces that have profoundly shaped our modern cities and lives and remain more important to our health, comfort, and wellbeing than ever before. In an interview with CNN about the exhibition Penner noted that 'toilets are the final frontier of taboo … we tend to think of our model as normal and natural'. The exhibition aimed 'to make people think why a toilet looks the way it does, and how else it could look'.
Bathroom, Reaktion Books
Image: Ann Agee, Sheboygan Men’s Room, 1998. John Michael Kohler Arts Center