In its broad strokes, the toilet is a household appliance that really hasn't changed much in the past century. Perhaps designers have been avoiding the icky parts of the bathroom—after all, showers certainly have received a fair share of attention—but now all that is changing. Motivated by a desire to limit water consumption, designers have tackled the problem of making an eco-friendly toilet. Korean Jang Wooseok devised this innovative system that diverts greywater from the sink drain into the toilet tank. An LED light indicates when the tank is full of recycled water or when fresh water is being used to flush, so the user can decide which of the two handles to use. The only trouble with this design is its hyper-modern form, which would look at home in the Jetsons space pad, but maybe not so much in a pre-war apartment.
? This wall-mounted design by Buratti + Battiston Architects uses the same water recycling principal as the Jang Wooseok design, but also incorporates an automatic cleaning system to stave off the growth of bacteria in the recycled water between flushes. Produced by Roca, the W+W won many Euro design awards, but we can't help but note that this innovative toilet is a little too unconventional in form to garner mass appeal.
? For those more concerned with appearances, the bench toilet by Troy Adams disguises the fixture itself when not in use. At $11K, it is one expensive restroom upgrade, but considering how we react to listing photos that depict toilets, this might be $11K well spent. Plus, it saves space by providing seating when the toilet section is closed.
? The Japanese love their toilets. There's no culture in the world more devoted to disposing of their waste in the highest style and with the most technology. Japanese bathrooms regularly come equipped with control panels for the toilet that, with a push of a button, can warm the seat or clean the user's rear end. That's all well and good, but this design from Toto, the Neorest AH, costs a whopping $4,000. A pretty penny compared to most western toilets, but hopefully the water savings from the tankless design—which uses less than half the water of a traditional toilet—will help pay back that high upfront cost.
? Seeking to one up its Far East competition, American toilet manufacturer Kohler recently released the $6,400 Numi. Equipped with similar features to the Toto, the Numi also boasts, get this, a built-in stereo system. Nothing like listening to tunes on the toilet.
· Modern Eco Bath System Designs by Jang Wooseok [All-Dreaming]
· W+W | Roca [official site]
· The Bench Toilet [Trendhunter]
· Go Green When You Go... With the Toto Hybrid Toilet [Inventor Spot]
· I Sat on a $6,400 Toilet and It Changed My Life [Gizmodo]