Design: Examining the Unmentionables

What's wrong with bathrooms?

Just about everything, according to a six-year, $100,000 study just completed by Cornell University. And the worst offender of all is that old unmentionable, the toilet. Not only has it not changed basically since plumbing began to move indoors, but it remains "the most ill-suited fixture ever designed." The most natural position, Architecture Professor Alexander Kira and his four assistants discovered after exhaustive research, is squatting. "We may think it is outrageous to squat," says Kira, "but most of the world squats. It is more natural and easier on the body."

Kira's radical proposal is more down to...

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