A Design Competition for a New Toilet

This toilet, designed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and the Austrian industrial design firm EOOS, earned a special recognition for its exceptional user interface. Photo: Gates Foundation

In order to improve the overall health of our planet???s inhabitants, the toilet requires a complete reboot. Leading the charge is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who gave the world???s best scientists and designers one year to come up with a new solution that could serve the 2.6 billion people currently without one.

The challenge: Create a toilet that doesn???t rely on piped water, sewer, or electrical connections. And while you???re at it, fashion something useful from the waste that goes in. Energy and water might be nice. Do it all for $0.05 per user per day, and you might win a $100,000 prize. Attacking the problem with the world???s most advanced science is one thing, but doing it within strict X-Prize-like parameters is entirely another. This week they announced the winners.

Plumbing technology trying to catch up to the 21st century, I see.

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About Matthew Peterworth

I currently work as a Technology Specialist at Henderson Engineers in Kansas City – a Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) design firm. Prior to that I was a Project Manager for Information Technology Services (ITS), the central IT department at the University of Texas at Austin. As of July 2008 I am a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) through BICSI. And as of June 2011 I am a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the great state of Texas. Please follow me on Twitter @mpeterworth. https://twitter.com/mpeterworth

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