Kevin Cheng – California College of the Arts
2P Portable Restroom
2P Portable Restroom
The 2P is a portable restroom designed to counter the problems that arise due to heavy attendance at outdoor events. Through innovative placement of an external urinal, it promotes dual-functionality per unit which effectively cuts all lines in half, improves hygienic conditions and reduces cost, space, and it’s carbon footprint.
Harry Allen: When it comes to urinating, it is a lot easier to be a man; we can stand and pee anywhere. Not that we should, but what the jury loved about this design is that it embraced the reality. In doing so it frees up the stalls for the women! We thought the form could use some finesse, but the basic concept is very cool and ultimately much more sanitary than peeing in the bushes. I question the psychology a little, would it put people off to have someone simultaneously relieving themselves on the outside of the stall, but I have a feeling for the benefit of shorter bathroom lines the majority will just learn deal with it.
2P Portable Restroom
1. Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the challenge posed to you? Did it get you excited and why?
The challenge behind the 2P was to create an object or system that would benefit the health and comfort of our society in public locations. I narrowed down my focus to public restrooms, an area which many designers seem to veer away from. Looking at hygiene, habits, and our every processes when not we're not in our homes, I came across many issues with portable restrooms at large outdoor events. People were afraid of the appalling hygienic conditions inside portable restrooms, and the lines were unbearable, yet in these scenarios there are often no alternatives. I aimed to create a solution that would both improve hygienics as well as reduce the amount of people in line at any given time and I believe that the 2P Portable Restroom does just that and more. Not only is this concept feasible today, but it's a simple solution that is able to solve many of the current issues and that is what excites me the most.
2. What point of view did you bring to the challenge? Was there anything additional that you wanted to achieve with this project or bring to this project that was not part of the original brief?
Though this concept was done as a student project, I really wanted to take this further and looked into its marketability. I currently have a provisional patent application for the 2P and have stumbled upon various obstacles in the last year. I've found that it's been fairly challenging but I'm continuing to make progress regardless.
3. When designing this project, whose interests did you consider? (Discuss various stakeholders, audiences, retailing, manufacturing, assembly, distribution, etc., for example.)
When designing the 2P my main interests were that of the end user. I want to provide a solution that replaces the traditional, as without spending much more for luxury portable restrooms which many events are unwilling to do, there are no alternatives available. While that was my main objective, as I worked on the design, I realized that I would have to consider the interests of manufacturing, distribution, and renters if I had wanted to make the idea feasible. I worked out manufacturing, assembly, distribution, and event set-up. I found that I was able to cater to the needs of each step in the process without any sacrifices.
4. Describe the rigor that informed your design. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) If this was a strictly research or strategy project, please provide more detail here.
My research began through many interviews and observations looking at the way people used restrooms, the frequency they wanted their hands, and the areas in a public restrooms that often come in contact with a user's hands. I also did a lot of research looking up past studies on handwashing, anal cleaning, and diseases, but as my concept changed to even higher traffic events, my research did as well. I started gathering articles and images and attended the Treasure Island Music Festival to gather insight on usage and observe people's reactions. As my concept developed, I started creating sketch models, scaled down to test it's feasibility and work with it's mechanics and when I was more confident with my direction, I created a full scale model made with cardboard to test it's proportion in person and how I was going to handle the issue of privacy.
5. What is the social value of your design? (Gladdening, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, labor-mindful, environmental, cultural, etc.) How does it earn its keep in the world?
The 2P Portable Restroom is a product that will have large social impact because it addresses issues that effect thousands. As an essential need, nobody is able to avoid these issues until changes have been made. It'll earn its keep in the world because it improves upon every aspect of traditional portable restrooms. The 2P allows events to better meet the needs of it's customers with less units, saving money for both the event's sponsors and distributors. With less units needed to be manufactured and transported, it's carbon footprint is much less when compared to its predecessor. As a new offering, it brings competition back into a market that has previously been drab and lacking innovation. Finally the amount of people that would benefit from this concept is vast; Events that require portable restrooms happen in nearly every city, and they cover anything from music to culture to exhibitions.
6. If you could have done one thing differently with the project, what would you have changed?
Given a chance to go back and change one thing in my design process, I would have approached a portable restroom manufacturer/distributor for insight and feedback while the concept was still maturing and to create ties to the industry that would produce my concept. I had attempted to contact a distributor, but due to time constraints and the lack of connections, nothing much had emerged from it. Now that I have finished, I am trying again and if changes need to be made, I am more than willing to backtrack and revise some features.