Prof Jo-Anne Bichard

A headshot of Jo-Anne smiling and looking straight at the camera.

Professor Jo-Anne Bichard, PhD

Professor of Accessible Design, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art

I am a design anthropologist who to date has conducted three of the largest empirical research projects on toilet design and the experiences of users.

The Inclusive Design of Public Toilets in City Centres (VivaCity 2020) conducted case studies of user experiences throughout cities in England and collected audit data of accessible toilets in the UK. Challenging Environmental Barriers to Continence (TACT3) explored the needs of the UK’s ageing population and focused more on the failings of standard toilet design. Robust Accessible Toilets  (RATs) explored the conflict between design for inclusive yet secure public toilets.

Secondary analysis of  user experiences from all projects was undertaken for my PhD ‘Extending Architectural Affordances: The Case of the Publicly Accessible Toilet’

My research continues to explore the tensions between users and design within publicly accessible toilet provision.

Working collaboratively with designer and researcher Gail Ramster, I am also co-director of Public Convenience Ltd, advising providers on toilet design that promotes equity in the built environment. Through Public Convenience, I also co-manage The Great British Public Toilet Map, a digital resource, developed from user-centred research and currently the UK’s largest dataset on public toilet provision.

I co-lead the Public Toilets Research Unit at the Royal College of Art and I sit on British Standard Institute committees for BS6465 and BS8300.



tiwitter: @gardezleau


The Accessible Toilet Resource brings together the findings from 461 participants of the Inclusive Design in City Centres research and audits of 101 accessible toilets around the UK

The Great British Public Toilet Map was developed from findings of 101 participants in the TACT3 project.

Extending Architectural Affordance: The case of the publicly accessible toilet PhD Thesis

The Toilet Paper was a newsletter for those involved in both the VivaCity 2020 and TACT3 projects

Publicly Accessible Toilets: An Inclusive Design Guide brought together findings from the TACT3 and RATs projects for design guidance that aimed to meet the challenges faced by providers of publicly accessible toilets.

Safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic-general guidelines for organisations. Includes information on toilet provision.

ExcLOOsion: How design is failing sanitary provision in Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences (Ed. B Tauke, K Smith & C. Davis)