Decolonising the Bathroom:

taking Kira ‘round the world

Course Leader

Deljana Iossifova

Teaching Assistants

Youcao Ren

Junyan (Juliet) Ye

External Links

Sustainable Infrastructure

This course is built on the premise that we need to study and understand practices as a precondition to ‘good’ architectural design.

Half a century has passed since the publication of the sole significant engagement with the design of bathrooms from within architecture (Kira, 1977). Kira’s infamous ‘The Bathroom’ (1977) builds on the detailed analysis of personal sanitation and hygiene practices (urination, defecation and personal hygiene) and how and where they take place. It offers fascinating insights into the historical, social and psychological aspects of hygiene facilities, both private and public, and is, still today, exceptional in its treatment of the corporal.

We took Kira’s (1977) detailed account of the ‘bathroom’ around the world. Our aim was to examine the bathroom through the lens of social practices of sanitation and personal hygiene embedded within the geographical and culturally specific context within which they appear.

Students learned to:

  • demonstrate adequate knowledge of histories and theories in architecture and the social sciences
  • demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between people and the built and natural environment across a range of spatial scales
  • demonstrate an understanding of the profession of architecture and their role as architects in society
  • apply skills of critical analysis to real world situations within a defined range of contexts
  • express ideas effectively and communicate information appropriately and accurately using a range of media
  • develop working relationships using teamwork and leadership skills, recognising and respecting different perspectives
  • find, evaluate, synthesise and use information from a variety of sources
  • articulate an awareness of the social and community contexts of operation
  • engage with stakeholder and interdisciplinary perspectives


Abigail Smart

Aisha Zulfiqar

Cheuk Yu Lauren Fung

Lam, Chung Yan Hannah

Liu Meijun

Mayce Arebi

Natalia Fijalkowska

Nur Azureeni Binti Dzulqanain

Osragli Elezi

Pan Yanhao

Rasaq Ayomide Yishawu

Ryan Ehlers

Shu Yi Amanda Lim

Tariro Ushe

Zhou Xinyi


Aisha Zulfiqar
Meijun Liu
Tariro Ushe

Ryan Ehlers
Mayce Arevi
Nur Azureeni Binti Dzulqanain
Lauren Fung

Osragli Elezi
Natalia Fijalkowska
Hannah Lam

Abigail Smart
Amanda Lim
Rasaq Yishawu