Nendo designs transportable toilet for natural disaster victims

Nendo has designed a temporary toilet for those affected by natural disasters, which can be assembled using found materials and completely dismantled for easy transportation.

Nendo began the Minimilet project in the wake of large-scale natural disasters in Japan, such as the Tōhoku and Kumamoto earthquakes in 2011 and 2016 respectively.

Both earthquakes caused huge tsunamis that caused hundreds of thousands of inhabitants to be forced out of their homes and into temporary shelters.

"A major problem for people living in the evacuation shelters was not only that the transport network was paralysed, food was in short supply and electricity, gas and water supply infrastructures were disrupted, but also that there was a lack of toilets," said the Japanese studio.

Recognising the issues with existing portable lavatories, Nendo wanted to create a solution that offered more stability and privacy.

It also needed to be totally collapsible, so that it can be taken apart and moved if need be.

Each of the six components – four aluminium pipes, a c-shaped seat, a privacy tent, tissues, garbage bags and a coagulant liquid – are designed to fit inside a slim bag.

The bag also doubles up as a water carrier and can hold up to 16 litres of water – the amount needed to flush a toilet twice.

The toilet can also be assembled using found materials, such as aluminium cans and water bottles.

"The various elements were made multipurpose in order to utilise them to their full extent," said Nendo. "The aluminium pipes can be used both as supporting poles for the tent or as legs to support the toilet seat, and the nylon fabric for the tent can also be used as a poncho."

"When living in evacuation shelters in contemporary urban spaces, various everyday items and waste materials are also available to use, unlike when living in deserts or mountainous areas, where there is nothing," the studio continued.

The Minimilet toilet follows on from Nendo's Minim+Aid kit, which the studio – led by Oki Sato – also designed for earthquake victims.

The kit, launched in 2015, contains a whistle, radio, raincoat, lantern, water container and multipurpose case in a slender tube.

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