caltech + kohler develop mobile restroom as self-sufficient container caltech + kohler develop mobile restroom as self-sufficient container
may 05, 2014

caltech + kohler develop mobile restroom as self-sufficient container

caltech + kohler develop mobile restroom as self-sufficient container
all images courtesy of kohler co




after winning the bill & melinda gates foundation’s ‘reinventing the toilet challenge’ in 2012, caltech engineers in collaboration with kohler co have developed a mobile restroom equipped with a solar-powered water-treatment system. by incorporating sustainable energy into the design, the self-sufficient unit can be used in areas without plumbing infrastructure. open door design studios (ODDS) were also involved in the project by painting the exterior with patterns that reference indian truck art. kohler also hired local artists in india for the application of the final concept of the mobile container, and in march 2014, the ‘reinvent the toilet fair: india’ was co-hosted by the government of india’s department of biotechnology and the bill & melinda gates foundation.


the container is equipped with a solar-powered water-treatment system



the images are used to help establish a cultural context for the environment in which the containers were placed, and also provide messages about the significance of water conservation and sustainability. illustrations of girls worshiping the sun, oils lamps, brightly colored flowers, birds, animals and scenery were included to highlight the importance of solar energy in the project as well as everyday life.

the exterior is painted with bright illustrations


locals were involved with the application of the container design plan


detail of the exterior illustrations


attaching fixtures onto the outside


painting the sides


painting the back exterior


image of the solar powered container concept


side concept images


front and back concept images



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