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Design students come up with high-tech toilets for modern world

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 10th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The toilet in the contemporary bathroom today is viewed as a necessity, and is usually left out of the innovations wrought by both design and decoration. It's just there, adhering to the same 130-year-old plus flush-toilet design. Now, three wily design students have put their heads together to come up with the head of the future - they've designed "the toilet of the future" and help "raise awareness on how we can upgrade the current 130 year old flush toilet to one that benefits our health and the environment."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The designs were in honor of World Toilet Day last month. The three students, from Central St Martin's College at the University of Arts London - Sam Sheard, Pierre Papet, and Victor Johansson - took part in a competition sponsored by the U.K.-based plumbing company Dyno-Rod Drains.

The "well being toilet," introduces many high-tech innovations to the typical commode. This design could eventually be used to analyze a user's waste to monitor for health defects such as diabetes or kidney diseases, Johansson and Papet said. The toilet could even provide information about nutritional deficiencies or pregnancy.

The real "game-changer" the three wanted to bring to the well being toilet was something far more basic. The students were more interested in reconfiguring the basic shape of the toilet. They wanted to combine the chair-like structure of modern toilets and angular position of "squat toilets."

Johansson says that the "sitting position is wrong" in modern toilet design in most Western countries. "The natural position for a human to sit is in a squatting position." he noted that the modern toilets push users into a 90-degree upright sitting position much like the one people adopt when they sit at a desk or dinner table.

Johansson says that this western design "is obstructing the bowels" whenever people go to the bathroom, which can lead to many health problems such as constipation to more serious colon infections.

The top challenge with the new toilet is that "it is incredibly difficult to introduce something new" since, like many basic pieces of furniture like chairs or tables, it's "something most people use all the time without giving it much consideration," Papet said.

"If you asked a toilet customer in the U.K. if he would consider buying a squatting toilet he would laugh at you," he added.

The final design is intended to help people overcome "these apprehensions and help get them into a position they're not used to anymore," Papet said. It still allows for a traditional sitting-type position, but the slight forward-leaning angle of the seat that juts up from the base of the structure allows bathroom-goers to perch their feet on the edge of the device - as they do what comes naturally.

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