Port-a-Potty or portable toilet hasn’t been redesigned since its conception in 1940s, except that maybe the materials. Keeping this in mind, Cassie Stepanek wanted to give this toilet a make over. Stepanek had to start from a scratch in order to understand how the portable toilet is used in our society, who uses it, who maintains it, as well as where we use it and why we are forced to do so.
Biopod is a redesigned portable toilet that incorporates 5 aspects into the design: privacy, cleanliness, space, ventilation, and grey water system. All these aspects cover the overall design from injection molding to your feces floating down the sewage line. Aside from doing extensive research, interviewing people alongside also give stories about touch, taste, smell, and feelings. Yep, from that interview, there are 2 things for certain: no one wants to touch a single thing inside or outside a port-a-potty, and second, 80% people hover the toilet seat and they don’t sit at all.
Designer : Cassie Stepanek
Biopod features exterior structure that follows a curve to maximize the opportunity for hovering (you don’t have to worry about accidentally banging your head on the entry wall). The toilet seat has been designed to be somewhat of a female urinal, these components work together to allow user to squat easily and comfortably. Inside this toilet, user doesn’t need to touch anything, there’s a pedal with a simple mechanical pulley system on both inside and outside of the structure. Press the pedal with your foot, it opens/closes the door while changing the signage from “vacant” to “occupied”.
Unlike dark porty-a-potty at night that might make you accidentally step onto something you don’t want to know or splash something on your leg, BioPod has been designed with LED lights on both the exterior and interior. It is highly visible from a far and it is pretty bright inside so you don’t have to do your business in the dark. These lights harness sun’s energy during the day through solar panels.
Ventilation should be good to reduce nasty odors. The pressure system that is integrated into a mat beneath the toilet is triggered when you turn around and squat, opening the slat and close the hole as soon as you step forward. This mechanism prevents you to see any waste.