John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The low-flow fixture curls into itself like a frightened gastropod.
For this edition of Toilet Wednesday (nothing sneaky going on here), there's this entry from the outer reaches of the bathroom-design nexus. Its name is the "Iota" toilet, it is water and space efficient, and it curls up into itself like a cute snail startled by a sudden movement.
The "Iota" is a project from two students at Britain's University of Huddersfield, Gareth Humphreys and Elliott Whiteley, who wanted to create a commode that didn't waste much water and could fit into a small bathroom. So they cranked out this smooth-looking design, which they claim has more than 50 percent of the water savings of a normal toilet.
Key to the bowl's efficacy is a swivel point that lets you sit on it one moment, then curl it upon itself to engage the flushing mechanism. As the inventors explain:
the integrated feature houses an inbuilt u bend that disengages from the waste pipe while still maintaining an air tight seal. when closed in the flush position, the component reengages simultaneously as the cistern is released. ‘iota’ offers a small footprint when in the upright position and the rimless design makes it easier to keep the bowl clean.
an interior frame holds the bowl in place ensuring that its rotation is smooth and accurate in order for the waste pipe to line up with the u bend – it also allows for shrinkage during the manufacturing of the porcelain. the outer panels are designed to be easily removed, enabling replacement parts to be fitted and a simple installation. the cistern protrudes into the bowl when in the upright position to apply maximum force and remove all contents from the water trap.
Reminiscent of something that would grace Steve Jobs's pad, the toilet is built from a cascade of interlocking bits and pieces, as you can see in the slickly produced animation below. The only improvement for model 2.0 I can think of would be to add caterpillar tracks, so you could slide around the bathroom as if actually riding a honkin' big snail:
H/t to Designboom