Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design
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TOPIC: Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design

Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 10 Oct 2012 14:44 #2438

  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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Hello everyone,
I am the designer of the portable sanitation solution MOSAN, which was designed for the urban poor in 2011.
MOSAN is an urine-diversion dry toilet which is used in a sitting posture. The toilet has 3 main components: a main pot, a separation toilet seat and a lid. There are two inner containers for excreta collection.

The toilet only collects excreta, no flushing water, no anal washing water or any kinds of waste should be added. Faeces has be be covered properly with dry material like ash or saw dust. This avoids smell, keeps faeces dry (reduces pathogens) and makes the content less unsightly for the next user.

In December 2011 we built 2 functional prototypes in Germany. One is currently exhibited at GIZ headquarters in Eschborn. For more information about the prototyping process in Germany, Bangladesh and our work, please read the topic "moSAN - mobile toilet for the urban poor in Bangladesh" or have a look at our tumblr blog mosan-bangladesh.tumblr.com

In May 2011 simple prototypes were tested for 4 days in Bangladesh and in summer 2012 two willing users, one male and one female, tested one advanced prototype in Germany (see pictures below). The test results will now be used for a redesign and further development of the concept.

In this regard we would also like to get YOUR FEEDBACK. What do you think about the toilet design?
We would like to discuss ideas and sketches to optimize the MOSAN toilet to become the most desirable toilet on earth


Kollage1.jpg
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
is.gd/mobilesanitation
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2012 19:59 by Mona.
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 10 Oct 2012 14:50 #2439

  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
  • Posts: 49
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Here some notes and feedback from our first test use in Germany.
The toilet was used in-house to urinate and to defecate by a male person for one day. Faeces were covered with bark chips. The toilet lid was closed after each use. Toilet paper was put in an extra wastebin.

- no smell occurred over one day (the bathroom window was closed)
- sitting height ok, but could be too high for children or women
- the urine funnel is not deep enough, the user reported skin contact with the inner funnel surface and with separation wall between funnel and opening for faeces
- the lid should be more stable
- the inner container size was sufficient, but needs to be adapted to family size or households that share the toilet

What do you think about the optical design? Please feel free to give your critical feedback!
Do you have an idea how to optimize the toilet for anal washing habits?
The current design is not made to collect washing water. Washing has to be done separately. e.g. over a bowl. Do you see any solution how to improve the comfort for washers?

The next days I will upload some of my own new ideas in form of sketches. But please start discussing and tell us what you would change on the design!

Many many thanks in advance for your all your input, help and interest in Mosan!
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
is.gd/mobilesanitation
Last Edit: 11 Oct 2012 10:38 by Mona.
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 11 Oct 2012 13:05 #2444

Dear Mona,

I am currently researching/writing my Master Thesis (MSc Urban Management) in Nepal, on alternative solutions for urban environmental sanitation. I am really impressed by the design of the MoSan toilet, and look forward to seeing more user-testing and modifications according to the users' suggestions.

Just one idea - would it be an option for the lid to be designed in such a way that it could 'double-up' as an anal washing bowl? So when the toilet is in-use, the user could simply fold back the lid, which also acts as a water collection vessel, and the 'handle' could be modified to perform like a funnel - either channeling water into a sand-filter, or collection pot to be disposed elsewhere.

Perhaps you have already considered this. If not, I can provide some sketches in the case that this description doesn't make sense

Cheers,
Laura
Last Edit: 12 Oct 2012 07:48 by laurabrightdavies.
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 11 Oct 2012 22:00 #2449

  • JKMakowka
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Sep 2013
Mona wrote:

- the urine funnel is not deep enough, the user reported skin contact with the inner funnel surface and with separation wall between funnel and opening for faeces


This is a very important point... especially if I imagine sitting hunched forward with my ellbows on the knees "it" reaches quite far down

On another note... did you consider a squatting version? Especially in the countries you seem to be targeting, that is really the preferred way of going to the toilet.
Krischan Makowka
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 12 Oct 2012 04:58 #2450

  • nazimuddin
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Dear Mona,

Thank you very much for sharing the interesting study.

Your question--'Does someone know about approved methods for user interviews after testing a new product? Is it better to first start with questionnaires and later do interviews in person?'

Suitable Methods: Focus Group Discussion (FGD) would be the suitable one. However, a local community leader is needed to guide and to contribute in this open discussion process.
Key Informant Interviews and Household Questionnaire survey can be executed after this. Those techniques are available and can be found in any search engine.

As Bangladeshi researcher, I had a lot of opportunities to successfully apply this kind of methods in rural, peri-urban/slum and urban areas in Bangladesh and abroad, especially the FGD with the help of natural or community leaders.

Thanks lot .

Nazim
PhD Researcher and Project Manager
Sustainable Sanitation for Vulnerable Population in Mongolia
Center of Sustainable Environmental Sanitation
University of Science and Technology Beijing, China
Action Contre la Faim(ACF) International and ACF Mongolia.
Sayed Mohammad NAZIM UDDIN
PhD Researcher/Project Manager

Current Address
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Diplomatic Compound 95-11,
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4th Khoroo, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Mobile:+976 94 12 74 82
www.acfmongolia.mn

University Address
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Center of Sustainable Environmental Sanitation(CSES)
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB)
Xueyuan road 30, Haidian District, 100083, Beijing China
Mobile: +86 136 9926 8970
Skype: nazimwrdbuet
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Web: en.ustb.edu.cn/
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 12 Oct 2012 08:44 #2451

  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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@laurabrightdavies

Dear Laura,

many thanks for your idea and writing the first post to my questions.
Adding the washing function to a toilet pot, that is used in sitting posture is actually a challenge, thats also why I asked all of you. Your idea to double use the lid is great and I tried to design it in a similar way. But there are two difficult points:
1) Anal washing in a sitting posture is difficult as long as you don't have a shower to push the water to your butt (like a bidet or a shower head). While squatting the butt is the lowest point of your body and the water goes automatically the right way, so you don't need any automatic device, you can simply use a "bodna" or any other jug to pour the water. (this is the result of user surveys and testing different toilets in Bangladesh myself
So far I don't know about any simple technology to wash yourself in a sitting (or bended) posture. Please let me know if you do!


2) Another point is, that including washing water inside the toilet makes the toilet heavy, uncomfortable to handle and difficult to empty. Users in urban slums in Bangladesh reported they use on an average 2,5 liters of water for each anal hygiene and a similar amount after urinating. This means a lot of water per day, per family and a lot of weight.
Since the toilet is designed to be very mobile, easily to carry, easily to empty, small and handy, I will try to avoid any increase in size or complexity. But this makes it even more difficult to find comfortable solutions for every habit.

When I researched for anal washing solutions, one idea was to take off the lid, turn it around and squat over it for washing (the squatting equivalent to your idea). Either a pipe would channel the water into a separate container or the user pours it manually into it. But after using the lid as a bowl it will be wet and always make the toilet wet when closing the toilet.
All of this brought me to the point to find a separate solution for washing and collecting the water, but since I am not very happy about this I asked all of you. So please if you see any other comfortable solution, share your idea or disabuse me if I'm wrong.
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
is.gd/mobilesanitation
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2012 20:09 by Mona.
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 12 Oct 2012 08:53 #2452

  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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@nazimuddin

Dear Nazim,

many thanks for sharing your experience on surveys and testing new products. After our current design phase we will produce more prototypes for a field test with potential users and then conduct focus group discussions and surveys. In that phase your knowledge will be very helpful! And we would love to go to Bangladesh for testing the toilet. So please stay in touch!

Thanks,
Mona
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
is.gd/mobilesanitation
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 12 Oct 2012 09:17 #2453

  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
  • Posts: 49
  • Likes received: 25
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@ JKMakowka

Dear JKMakowka,

of course we will change all critical parts and shapes they were reported as uncomfortable.
For example, these parts will be optimized:
- urine funnel size/ shape
- separation wall height
- sitting height of toilet
- side handles shape
- lid stability and lid handle design
- simplifications on all shapes for easier production and transport

The team of x-runner already designed a very clever mobile squatting toilet. The Mosan toilet will be a suitable product for people who are used to a sitting posture, people with disabilities, elderly and all people who prefer sitting.

Thanks for your advice!
Mona
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
is.gd/mobilesanitation
Last Edit: 12 Oct 2012 09:18 by Mona.
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 17 Oct 2012 15:00 #2475

  • Mona
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  • Industrial designer with great interest in social innovations. Together with GIZ I designed the MoSan household toilet. Currently based in Zurich.
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Dear readers,

I am looking for information or reports about the use of UDDT's by small children. I know it might be difficult for small children to use adult size toilets (like this squatting UDDT in South Sudan)

But are there urine-diversion toilets specially made for children, small potties with a low height?
Please let me know about your experiences?

Many Thanks in advance!
MoSan - Mobile Sanitation
is.gd/mobilesanitation
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 18 Oct 2012 05:16 #2477

  • Marijn Zandee
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Dear Mona,

I do not know of any UDTs designed especially with children in mind. I guess if there is anything at all it would be in school wash.

To return to your question regarding evaluation tools. We use a voting system in our FGDs that we feel gives good results, I will quickly describe it below.

The concept is that the people in our focus group get to vote anonymously on a number of questions. Usually we have around 15 questions and the discussion then takes about 3 hours.

The voting system works with colored beads. Everyone attending the discussing gets a handful of beads in 5 different colors. We then ask our questions as multiple choice questions with 5 possible answers. the question and the answers are written on a large sheet of paper in front of the group (you prepare the question banners before the meeting). Each answer then gets assigned a color, so all answers have a color that corresponds with the colored beads people have. After a question is presented and discussed a person goes around the room with a non-transparent bag, each person in the room then gets to put the bead of the color that represents their answer in the bag. This way people can give their answers anonymously, obviously that also means you can't link answers to people or income groups. After everyone has voted the beads are then counted in front of the group, the community mobilizer then discusses the results with the group, to see if the answers are deemed reasonable by the group and why the answers are the way they are.

An example could be a question of how much time people spend getting water to their houses every day. The answers could be:
0-15 minutes = green
15-25 minutes = blue
25-35 minutes = yellow
35-45 minutes = purple
45-60 minutes = black

After the social mobilizer has asked and explained the question, a person goes round with the bag and collects a bead for every person. The beads are then counted and the scores written on the paper banner with the questions and answers. For example the result could be:

Total people present in the focus group = 30
green (0-15 minutes) = 8 beads
blue (15-25 minutes) = 2 beads
yellow (25-35 minutes) = 1 bead
purple (35-45 minutes) = 5 beads
black (45-60 minutes) = 14 beads

We would probably be a bit surprised at this data set, because it is so heavy on the extremes. Thus we discuss the results further with the group. From the discussion the answer to the strange distribution could be that a group of people living in one district has piped water access, while everyone who does not has to walk very far to get water.

The example above is a bit overly simple but I think you get the idea.

regards

Marijn
Marijn Zandee
Technical Advisor
Nepal Biogas Promotion Association (NBPA)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Kathmandu, Nepal

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I: www.nbp-association.org
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 18 Oct 2012 09:39 #2480

  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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This looks a really interesting project. My biggest concern would be the collection element and how everything is dealt with subsequently. As some of you know we operate a whole community ecosan programme in Cuddalore, India, servicing 3,500 per day together with a further 2,000 people in nearby rural villages. Of course we use UDDTs and so we have no smell and both faeces and urine are stored separately from day one (which may be the case here as well). We already have several thousands of kilos of faeces composting and it is becoming a greater logistical challenge each month, which fortunately we are on top of. I would not trust this to the municipal authority. We also have two men we employ, a vehicle, collection cycle and a compost sales process. This experience will be useful when we trial the system in a true 'inner-city' environment, hopefully next year.
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Open discussion on MOSAN toilet design 18 Oct 2012 09:46 #2481

  • DavidAlan
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  • David Crosweller
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Sorry, I would like to add one thing. On a personal level I am not sure we should be trying to get people to change cultural habits, i.e. from squatting to sitting. I totally understand the reasons behind it, but it doesn't sit (!) comfortably with me.
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