Design

What's happening

24 Apr 2014

Reinventing the Toilet

Our goal was to create an aspirational toilet for all that is cost effective and does not compromise good design and ergonomics.  The Design School team (Diane Gyi, Karl Hurn and Paul Mackereth ) found a creative way to use existing materials and local manufacturing techniques by developing a ‘single mould’ solution for the toilet base which allows the production of a customisable toilet.  Much of the flexibility in the design is achieved by giving users and manufacturer’s choice - a range of toilet heights ( including a urinal base ) which can be made with simple tools and with different materials and finishes.  This will empower local businesses to respond quickly to specific user needs and to changes in demand. By providing moulds and associated training to local manufacturers the toilets become completely customisable for the users.

The seat and bowl have also been re-thought, with careful consideration of the diverse needs of both primary and secondary users.  For example, the seat is fixed in place, removing the need for hinges that can become dirt traps and subject to damage and vandalism.  The seat has also been modified to allow for a range of sitting positions; improved support and comfort by increasing the contact surface; and new shaping to enable better access for washing and wiping.

The Toilet Fair aimed to stimulate discussion and spur partnerships to improve global sanitation and bring affordable sanitation solutions to people who need it most.   It was also an opportunity to recognise India’s leadership and commitment to improving child health and fostering innovative solutions to persistent development challenges.  Paul Mackereth, Research Associate, attended the event on behalf of the Design School team to showcase our design concept ( please see the pdf below ).

As a result of the Fair, the Design School team are currently in discussion with local manufacturers, universities and innovation centres to develop the concept further towards the market place.

For more details about the development and the Fair, please use the following link to YouTube and the interview with Paul:   SuSanA ( Sustainable Sanitation Alliance ( SuSanA ))

For further information, please use the following links:

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/news-events/news/2014/march/news-reinvent-the-toilet.html  

http://wedc.lboro.ac.uk/docs/about/News_Photos_Delhi_Fair.pdf 

http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2014/03/Reinvent-the-Toilet-Fair-India--Progress-Innovation-Excitement

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2586737/Toilet-tech-fair-tackles-global-sanitation-woes.html