Engaged: a toilet on every high street (final report)

An outdoor space, between two single-story buildings at right angles. The far building has many doors with toilet symbols. The side building has storage, for the play equipment that fills the space. There are trees and seating, as well as plants on the building roofs. A sign on the right says 'Engaged'



Author/s: Gail Ramster, Jo-Anne Bichard, Madelaine Dowd, Indira Knight, Rosanna Traina, Maurizio Mucciola

File: Engaged_final-report.pdf 2.4 MB

Publication date: 2023


Engaged ran as a design research project by Royal College of Art and PiM.Studio Architects, and funded by a Mayor of London post-pandemic innovation programme, ‘Designing London’s Recovery’.

Engaged’s aim is to think about a simple concept of reusing vacant high street units as toilets (plus commercial or community space), and to grow the idea, rather than to implement an idea that had already been figured out.

It wasn’t just about the physical design.

We explored how it would fit into current systems and infrastructure by speaking with people within retail, community safety, government, and urban design.

Once we had an idea of how it could be implemented (within councils, through regeneration) we spoke with regeneration officers to think about how they could make it happen. We also found where the gaps are in current toilet provision by engaging with the public within one London neighbourhood.

As well as a summary of our methodology and findings, this report shares a few key areas that we’ve uncovered, that have the most potential to pursue, and where we have evidence to support future, focused studies to really fix the problems.