University graduates have designed a women’s urinal that they say is six times more efficient than the traditional lockable toilet.
Amber Robyn and Hazel McShane, who graduated from the University of Bristol last year, designed the hands-free Peequal when asked to solve a ‘real life problem’ for their master’s project.
They used their experience of queuing for hours at music festivals to come up with their urinal, which fits six units in a pizza shape — meaning more urinals can fit into smaller spaces on the outdoor event grounds.
The design is like a ‘fast-track’ toilet “for women who just want to pee,” the co-creators said verteld TodayFM. They added, “We’re not trying to revolutionize the toilet.”
Instead, the Peequal streamlines the queue, meaning those who need to use proper restrooms still have access to a lockable door, while others can get in and out in seconds.
2020 graduate Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane designed the hands-free Peequal, a new women’s urinal, when asked to solve a ‘real life problem’ for their master’s project
The couple (Mrs McShane, left, Ms Probyn, right) tired of queuing for the ladies toilets when they worked at music festivals in the UK over the summer, and told the BBC they had to choose between going to the go to the toilet or get food
Research they conducted during the design process showed that women queue up to 34 times longer than men because there are 10 male urinals for every public women’s toilet.
And once they’re first in line, up to 80 percent of women still squat over the toilet seat to avoid germs.
Often women take more time to use a traditional toilet because of the practicalities of dealing with a period, which can slow down waiting times.
Restroom queues at The Parklife Festival 2017 at Manchester’s Heaton Park
Music fans line up for the ladies’ toilets at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in 2009
If women’s urinals were more commonly included, those who spend more time on the toilet could use a regular toilet, while anyone desperate for a pee could turn to the Peequal line.
A prototype of the urinal, which is semi-private so that others waiting to use the Peequal can’t see anything from their waists, is being tested at the Bristol Comedy Garden this weekend.
Mrs Probyn and Mrs McShane told the BBC They used to have to choose between going to the toilet or getting food when they worked at music festivals because the queues were so long.
Ms. McShane has a degree in physics with innovation, while Ms. Probyn has an anthropology degree in innovation.
They designed the shape of the toilet bowl to accommodate different squatting positions – low, high and wide – meaning the urinals are suitable for most women. Pictured, an image shows the different ways the urinals can be used
The pair spoke to more than 2,000 women near Bristol in focus groups and pubs before coming up with their urinal, which they claim cuts waiting times.
Ms McShane said the toilet is on a pedestal but is an adaptation of a hole in the ground.
She said, “It’s designed like a boat to minimize splashing and also to have a small spot for your clothes in the front.”
They designed the shape of the toilet bowl to accommodate different squatting positions – low, high and wide – meaning the urinals are suitable for most women.
A prototype of the new toilet, which is semi-private so you can’t see anything from the waist down, is being tested at the Bristol Comedy Garden this weekend
Ms Probyn added that the time queuing to use the ladies “wasted hours of women’s lives”.
She said, “At the start of the day, you might look at this women’s urinal and think, ‘I’m not sure,’ but after a few bevs, and after you’ve already waited in line for about 15 minutes – this option becomes suddenly much more attractive.’
The pair took top prize in the University of Bristol’s leading business competition for start-ups, winning £15,000 BristolPost reported:.
The new urinal, which can be transported flat and arranged in three different ways, is said to produce 98 percent less CO2 than other portable toilets and is made from 100 percent recyclable materials.
When images of the new design were shared online, some women had their grievances, but praised the women for investigating the issue.
One commented: ‘I’m all for festival toilet queues that go 6x faster and have 10 less chances to touch a portaloo! …but I don’t know how I feel about having my head over the parapet while I pee.’
Others were more critical, as one said, ‘What was the feedback, because it looks awful! When I pull down my clothes and underwear I want full height walls and a roof plus a real toilet. What we need are more up-to-date private toilets for women, this is not a solution for long queues.’
Another adds: ‘No roof over it, nice when it rains.’