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article imageOp-Ed: Would men use a street urinal attached to a wall?

By David Silverberg     Aug 2, 2009 in Technology
Mexican designer Miguel Melgarejo came up with an interesting idea: a public urinal easily fastened to any city wall. But this urinal would need to train men to aim perfectly, and who would clean the Axixa urinals?
Public urinals continue to be a hot topic for urban planners and city mayors. For instance, Victoria, B.C., will install a public toilet near City Hall and Stockholm is known for its many capsule-bathrooms splashed across older parts of the city.
Now, curious city planners might want to take a look at the Axixa, a new public toilet system that takes "peeing on the side of a building" very seriously. In fact, it's the heart of the design.
Created by Miguel Melgarejo, the Axixa (still a prototype) is a ceramic, water-stain shaped device that can attach easily to any wall. Inside the device lies a U-bend water trap leading to a drainage pipe. The Axixa comes in pee-yellow, an appropriate colour, and the design even makes it look like a urine stain.
The top section of the urinal contains a blue liquid that acts as a "deodorant barrier." The design map (below) says including scented liquid means no water is needed to flush.
Showing how the Axixa urinal works
Showing how the Axixa urinal works
As innovative as Melgarejo's concept is, men will still need to aim effectively to allow the Axixa to do its job. It's a truism affecting all urinals, of course, but when a guy approaches a wall in a sozzled stupor, the desire to aim is low on the priority list. Since the Axixa is affixed to a wall, it's easy to forget the private-bathroom rules of target practice. Rather, the Axixa could be dirtied with stains and errant streams.
There's no word yet on how the Axixa would be cleaned and who would do the dirty work. But it's safe to assume that any city installing this public urinal would need to monitor if it's being used properly. Otherwise, this device's concept will be as productive as pissing in the wind.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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