Simple Genius: A Pop-Up Urinal For Women That Isn’t Debasing

Yay, finally!


Reason No. 999 why it sucks to be a girl: We can’t pee standing up, and we’ve got endless bathroom lines to prove it. Sure, many a device has tried to help, but mostly, they’re just weird, vaguely degrading gadgets that resemble motor-oil funnels.


Inching ladies ever closer to the conveniences of micturating like a dude — but with dignity! — is Pollee, a urinal for women. Created by Danish design studio UiWE, it’s a star-shaped toilet system that looks a bit like a giant toy pinwheel and accommodates four girls at a time. Instead of the classic urinal, which is designed to be stood in front of, Pollee urinals are long and thin so that they can be easily straddled. Girls just do a semi-squat and go. ADA-style rails give them something to grab onto. “Our drive is that Pollee becomes a real queue-killer that enables girls to get peeing over and done with quickly, so they can get on with the more fun and important things,” says UiWE’s Christian Pagh. “Queuing is such a waste of life!”

UiWE debuted Pollee prototypes at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark — the same outdoor festival that featured this clever, if overly flasher-friendly, strap-on urinal for men — in bullpen-like configurations, with varying degrees of privacy: Pollee Shy, Pollee Topless and Pollee Naked. (Check out the photos to glean what’s what.) Pagh tells Co.Design that all of them got plenty of use, but Pollee Shy was the clear favorite.

UiWE plans to use feedback gathered at the festival and online to develop a mass-produced female urinal for concerts, festivals, and other outdoor exploits next year. Says Pagh:

For the future product we will work more with the wall layout as well as well as the placement of the handles for support and balance. We will also work on refining the shape of the urinal itself, but pretty much it’ll be based on what we have. It worked fine — but we might adjust the height a bit. We also will look more into signage and lighting — as the atmosphere also at night plays a part on how it’s used.

The big question, of course, is whether it de-clogs the toilet queue. It’s hard to imagine that Pollee cuts back on the actual amount of time it takes to pee, because women still have to squat. The biggest selling point, then, is that you can throw together a whole bunch of urinals in a relatively small space. And as the boys know (lucky jerks that they are), the more urinals you’ve got, the speedier the line.

[Images courtesy of UiWE; hat tip to Dezeen]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D