Monday, March 5, 2007

Fly In Urinal, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

The Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is annually one of the best rated airports in the world. I was particularly impressed with the airport's cleanliness. One thing I noticed, while in the airport recently, was what looked like a real fly in all of the urinals in the mens' bathrooms. After doing some internet research on this detail, I found that it was first introduced at the Amsterdam airport, and has been recognized and discussed worldwide. The flies in the airport are etched into the porcelain, but there is now a website that sells the stickers - Here is an excerpt from's blurb on the fly in the urinal:
"This story is a bit dated — it has been floating about the Internet in various forms since 1997, with the earliest version attributed to an article in the Wall Street Journal — but it is true. Most recently, the fly-in-urinal concept was touted as a prime example of "human-friendly design" by engineering professor Kim Vicente in his book, "The Human Factor" (Routledge, 2004)."If you go to the men's washrooms at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam," Vicente wrote, "you may notice there's a fly in the urinals. So what do you think most men do? That's right, they aim at the fly when they urinate. They don't even think about it, and they don't need to read a user's manual; it's just an instinctive reaction. The interesting feature of these urinals is that they're deliberately designed to take advantage of this inherent human male tendency."

Will Wingfield

No comments: