Excuse me, there’s a fly in my…


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… urinal.

It seems that a swarm of flies have taken residence in Schiphol Airport’s urinals in Amsterdam. Most unusually one fly has adopted each one of the separate urinals as its final resting place. Upon closer inspection you’ll find that these flies have each been etched onto the porcelain with the purposeful intention of giving men something to aim at and thereby avoiding spillage.

The idea came from Jos van Bedoff, an airport maintenance man, who discovered during army service that one military urinal which had a fault in the form of a dot was far cleaner than the others. Twenty years later he suggested the idea to airport officials and, after successful trials, was adopted and cleaning efforts have been reduced by 80%. A great example of ‘nudging’ in a fun and engaging way to change people’s behaviour. So should all toilets now be designed with flies, targets, or goal posts?

(Fly photo from John Talbot on Flickr)

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