Sustainable toilets inspired by local Indian truck art.

Caltech engineers originally won the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” back in 2012, but more recently they took their solar-powered design to India where it would go on display alongside other sustainable toilet ideas. To put the finishing touches on the design, Caltech worked alongside the plumbing manufacturer, Kohler, while Open Door Design Studio (ODDS) helped to design some beautiful patterns for the exterior which were inspired by Indian truck art.

Kohler were chosen for the project because of the extensive collaboration they have done with Indian marketing experts and designers in the past. The company's Indian team were instrumental in choosing region-specific plumbing products, and offering guidance on the overall décor to ensure that local communities were more accepting of the new technology. “Global sanitation is an issue that needs to be addressed, and we are proud to be a part of what the Gates Foundation is doing to increase awareness and inspire solutions,” says Rob Zimmerman, sustainability manager for Kohler Co. “Regardless of the technology developed, cultural acceptance of the solution is the key to its success. We put a lot of time and thought into how to best achieve that.”

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