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Monday, September 13, 2004

 

The Handsome Outhouse

Fogel's RefuseIt's a nice design, isn't it? I found the radial, fan-shaped pattern attractive in itself, reminiscent of something in nature, perhaps a palm tree? I especially liked the way the pattern worked with the mid-day sun to create increasingly wider shadows going from bottom left to upper right.

Would you believe this is the upper part of the door of a porta-potty? I found this one adjacent to a construction site while I was walking from our office to the post office in Columbia. I think the pattern on the door caught my eye before my brain even had time to register the fact that it was an outhouse. Well, good design is good design, no matter where you find it.

Having never seen any porta-potties that were anything but ugly, I was very impressed. The designer really thought about this one. She could have just used the usual flat piece of blue or white plastic and reinforced the door with a strip or two of metal on the inside. But instead, she decided to turn the door into something attractive and, in the process, make it self-stiffening.
Handsome Outhouse
The oval-shaped escutcheon is nicely integrated into the design and provides a flat area for the john's owner to place his logo.The designer even used an "affordance," the loop in the door handle that says "pull me," which you can see in the overall photo.

There is so much bad design, awful design, around us. Even the big-time architects get away with it. Look at Philip Johnson's AT&T Building (now the Sony Building) in NYC. He defaced the upper East 50's skyline with a huge, ugly slab with a Chippendale broken pediment top (although he redeemed himself later with the innovated "Lipstick Building" on 53rd Street.)

Yesterday, as Sandy and I were driving along the coastal highway in Bethany Beach, DE, I spotted a cluster of new, Soviet-style condiminiums blocking the view of the ocean. Now, in my opinion, foisting architecture like that on the public, especially just astride the ocean, should be a capital offence.

With so much bad design all around, isn't it encouraging to see that someone took the time to design a handsome outhouse?

Comments:
super awsome
 
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