The devastating impact of natural disasters on power grids, water supplies, and basic hygiene spurred principal Oki Sato to rethink a relief-effort essential: the portable toilet. Unlike standard mobile loos, with their clunky and cumbersome structures, the elemental is, well, good to go.
The flat-pack kit of parts, to be manufactured by and available by the end of the year, encompasses four aluminum poles, a lightweight plastic toilet seat, a nylon privacy screen, and a pouch of coagulant. Users can supplement the unit with readily available add-ons: plastic bags to collect waste, a standard umbrella to support the enclosure, and water bottles to elevate the seat (in lieu of the poles). “Appropriating available items and using components that can serve multiple roles maximizes the functionality,” Sato explains. The enclosure, for instance, can also be worn as a poncho, while the waterproof carrying bag doubles as a 4-gallon bucket. And the kit’s thin profile makes storage a snap—whether in a shelter or at home.