The Dyson Airblade is a fabulous hand-dryer. The thoughtful design is beginning to appear in many washrooms around the city. A slick renovation (think granite topped garbage bins) to the ground floor washroom in Robarts includes these dryers. Unfortunately, in this location, women do not use them.
There is a simple explanation. Old-style dryers blow air down onto your hands. The Airblade works differently. You must slip your hands into an opening from above, and then move your hands up and down through the air which blows horizontally. This design means the fixtures must be hung lower than traditional dryers. At Robarts, the Airblades are hung too high for any but the tallest of women to use.
I am 5’6″, not exactly short. To get my hands into the dryer I needed to bend my arms into an awkward position. That said, discomfort is not the primary reason I will never use these particular dryers again. That decision is based on a gross-out factor. The height of the dryer caused the water from my hands to blow up into my face. Being spritzed with water from a dryer in a public washroom was repulsive.
I experienced this in September 2010. I was back in the building recently and returned to the washroom to see if the issue has been rectified. It hasn’t. The dryers are in the same position. I think this is a great case of not following through to see how things are or aren’t working in a space. The fix is easy; lower the dryers. As I observed during my first visit, the women today all ignored the dryers and went straight for the paper towel―once spritzed, twice shy.
I have recently started working out of CSI-Annex. (A shared office, not the latest incarnation of the TV show.) The newly renovated space has a communal washroom, and for a semblance of privacy, each stall is fully enclosed. In previous posts, I have cited the power of the seemingly utilitarian washroom to reveal the character of a building. This time, the revelation is about me, rather than CSI-Annex.
It seems I am a habitual person. I suppose I knew this, but the washroom stalls confirmed
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The mayoral debates have opened a door into some interesting gathering spaces in the city. Today I attended one held on the Trading Floor at the Design Exchange. I have been here before for various lectures and events, but never a debate.
The five candidates sat at a raised table, visible to all in the audience. Well circulated, cool air filled the old home of the Stock Exchange. The air quality was far superior to the stuffiness I experienced during a previous debate at Trinity-St. Paul’s. I left that debate drained, after struggling to concentrate. Today, I was
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I am at the Windsor Arms Hotel for a YWBC volunteer appreciation tea. The first time I visit a building, I always make a point of checking out the washrooms. A room, so tied to function, can reveal a lot about a place. The washrooms here are what I expected, full wood panel doors on each stall and luxurious finishes. The interesting part came as I left.
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I swear the women’s washroom outside of theatre number 6 at AMC Yonge & Dundas is large enough for ballroom dancing. Not only are there many stalls, but the space between them is incredible. There is room for a long line of patiently waiting women, with enough left over on either side to walk from the stalls to the sinks and mirror.
Where does the ballroom dancing fit in? The washroom was empty both before and after the film. So much space to fill. Maybe the Grease soundtrack playing provided the inspiration to dance.