mobile dry diversion toilet

Worldwide, missing basic infrastructures - mainly lack of toilets and thus "open defecation" - are one of the biggest problems. They support the spread of deadly diseases, with women and children being disproportionately affected. For this reason, a portable "Dry Diversion Toilet" has been developed that does not require any additives, chemicals, technology or energy and a minimum of plastic (cradle-to-cradle principle).

The project includes the development of a favorable - final price max. 500 EUR - as well as hygiene, safety, operation and maintenance including, self-explanatory, highly functional product design - i.e. "design nudging": the (desired) behavior of the users is controlled by the design.

Principles of permanently installed earthworm toilets, where feces are composted to soil using earthworms, have been under test for a few years in some Sub-Saharan African countries, with one of the unsolved problems being urine seeping into the ground daily. This project design counteracts this, as the urine is collected separately. Its recycling, for example for electricity production or sanitation and subsequent use as fertilizer, is also a major part of the research project. The separation of solids and liquids also speeds up the composting process of fecal matter.

The project idea was developed in the context of the urban planning design studio in the summer semester 2017 for the urban regeneration of a slum in Lagos (Nigeria) and is based on the functional principle of an "earthworm compost toilet". Since then, the interdisciplinary project has been continuously developed on a multi-semester basis and the aim is both the implementation in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia), as well as in Lagos (Nigeria); both beginning with a preparatory on-site workshop in August/ October 2018.

In addition to developing a 1: 1 prototype, a Context Study examines the specific conditions in Nigeria and Ethiopia and creates the fundament for a local realization.

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scope of duties:

- co-development of the Mobile Dry Diversion Toilet, esp. regarding system and context
- project- and budget-management: coordination of prototyping, product- and communication design, technical realization, etc.
- exhibition design and -planning for the ABK Rundgang 2018 (summer exhibiton)
- development and design of a "Context Study" as preparation for the realization of the toilet in Africa, esp. Lagos and Addis Abeba
- planning of and part-taking in a research- and implementation-workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, in August 2018 in the local low-income community Ifelodun
- part-taking in an implementation-workshop in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, in October 2018 in the local low-income Aware community

State Academy of Arts and Design
Stuttgart, Germany

Urban Design
Prof. Dipl.-Arch. Fabienne Hoelzel
Lucia Schreiber, Beatrice Bucher
Industrial Design
Prof. Uwe Fischer
Melissa Acker, Robin Wesch, Simon Gehring, Tobias Lenk
Communication Design
Prof. Uli Cluss
Niklas Berlec


Fabulous Urban, Zurich/ Lagos
Office Uwe Fischer, Frankfurt/M.
Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of
Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zürich

Heinrich-Böll-Foundation Nigeria
Communities of Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Lagos

EiABC - Addis Ababa University
Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development
Florian Manderscheid - ICEAddis, Addis Abeba
Addis Abeba Rivers Riversides Development &
Climate Change Adaptation Project Office
Aware Community, Addis Abeba