When I first saw the design of the "Modular Construction Toilet", I had just one question: Where does my arse go?
But, having that question answered quite simply by the video above, a new question posed itself: Why has toilet design remained, for the most part, unchanged for 130 years?
Sure, we've had robotic toilets that automatically flush, or have toasty warm seats for those cold winter sessions on the throne, but from bowl to u-bend, and despite modern energy and sustainability concerns, the fundamental engineering behind the water-flushing loo looks much like it did when introduced back in Victorian times.
But now three Central Saint Martin's design graduates are battling it out to build the toilet of the future. Keeping eco-friendly and health concerns in mind, they've been charged with coming up with a toilet design that fits with modern sustainable living aims, with the winning crapper being turned into a working prototype to coincide with World Toilet Day on November 19th.
Here then are the candidates for the Toilet of the Future prize:
The toilet that will colour our cities green! Its system converts bio waste into biogas, fertiliser and grey water which is then used in urban gardens, green living walls etc. It is a waterless system used in new multi-occupancy buildings but also can be retrofitted to existing buildings. It reduces waste and produces power, offsetting any environmental impact.
This integrated system rethinks the whole bathroom as we know it. Grey water is water collected from hand basins and showers and recycled for use in the toilet.
This toilet focuses on health and wellbeing. The form of the toilet promotes the correct ergonomic position for our bodies. By changing position we can reduce the risk of intestinal cancer and hemorrhoids. The toilet also allows users to self-identify and diagnose a number of health issues by analysing our waste. This preventive care has potential savings for the NHS.