About me

I’m Gail.

I work in design research and particularly love people-centred (inclusive) design, public sector service design, and urban design & wayfinding. 

Why public toilets? Because they’re fundamental to everyone (in my instance they’ve helped me shop for longer),  and they’ve been completely overlooked by designers (I do like a niche).

I work at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art.

One design research project that I undertook here was called Out of Order, and looked at ways to design improvements to public toilets and public toilet provision for older people. This in turn was part of TACT3 – an academic research project to ‘help older people manage problems with continence through theory, tools and technology’.

For Out of Order I spent a year speaking first to over 100 members of the public about the problems with public toilets, and then to 20 toilet-related professionals about the problems of providing them.

I then began to focus on how people can find a public toilet that meets their needs – nearby, open and accessible to them.  

This led to The Great British Public Toilet Map – a website that publishes open (free to use) data, provided by councils, about where their toilets are. This data could be reused by other apps and maps to improve public toilet information. The pilot site is for the 33 boroughs in London.

We also published ‘Publicly Accessible Toilets – An Inclusive Design Guide (pdf). This 40-page guide is full of user experiences and helpful low-cost advice for anyone responsible for designing or providing toilets.

The blog’s quite discursive. If you’re looking for information on:

  • Public Toilet Design & Provision
  • Community Toilet Schemes
  • Building Regulations & British Standards
  • Government & Academic research relating to toilets

then try this page of links, or ask!

Anyone can contact me via email at gail.ramster@network.rca.ac.uk

Don’t ask…


7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dave Williamson  |  September 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Hi Gail

    We had a email exchange about toilet data and Waltham Forest earlier this year

    Thought you might be interested in this…


  • 2. Gail Knight  |  September 5, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Thank you! I hadn’t seen that. I wondered if anything like that had taken off. Seems a very efficient solution!

    We’ve got the Waltham Forest data to appear in our map of councils-that-publish-data, happily! Should be a live website by the end of the month, although it’ll continue to be work-in-progress!

  • […] The wonderful Gail Ramster is currently at the forefront and you canread about her here: https://gailknight.wordpress.com/about/ […]

  • 4. paul  |  June 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    can stores be included or hotels, our saisburys has good toilets,you could use then go shopping,or waitrose tesco

  • 5. paul  |  June 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    on holidays I always try to find a good clean toilet,frinton on sea has a realy good one on the greensward pay 20p and its attended to,

  • 6. Glen Norris  |  September 4, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Great web site. Came across your web site while looking for Sat nav POI for toilets. It would be good if you had an export to CSV file.

  • 7. Mapping Highgate’s public toilets | For Highgate  |  July 31, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    […] The wonderful Gail Ramster is currently at the forefront and you can read about her here: https://gailknight.wordpress.com/about/ […]


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