Since Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and Third Wave we have been expecting accelerating change and while I comprehend it intellectually, change usually seems to be gradual — it just sort of creeps up on you.

Well, according to this National Public Radio story, here’s a change you will notice.

If you are designing new offices, two restrooms, one for each gender, just may not be enough anymore.

Morning Edition, December 15, 2005 * The city council of Nova Iguacu, Brazil, has passed a bill requiring night clubs, movie theaters, malls and other public places to provide a third bathroom for transvestites. The mayor has yet to sign it. But the council says having only two options — men’s and women’s — is a big problem in a town with 28,000 transvestites. (Well, it is just outside Rio.)

I am not trying to be cheesy here, but let me ask you… did you see that one coming?

The additional irony here is that the story is about law — after all, that is what is being debated — a law forcing requiring three bathrooms in public places (albeit only in Nova Iguacu, for now).

For this one visible and rather remarkable change, there are thousands of more subtle ones from text messaging to internet in the friendly skies.

So, when you are planning, do not fall into the trap of simply doing a linear extrapolation from the present – or you may get caught with your pants down — or should I say panties — maybe even in the wrong restroom.

Thank you to Tom Peters Wire Service for the story