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UCLoo Festival 2013

Funded on Spacehive 17 October 2013

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

UCLoo Festival 2013

UCLoo Festival 2013

UCLoo By UCLoo

Do you know your shit? UCLoo Festival is part of an international day of action, World Toilet Day, that will break the taboo around what we flush and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.

Camden Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 17 Oct 2013!

UCLoo Festival will run for 2 weeks with a working ecological toilet, an exhibition of prototype toilets, a make-a-thon and other events. UCLoo Festival will build on UCL’s pioneering efforts to advance sanitation technologies with a new emphasis on sustainability and urban waste management.

UCLoo Festival puts sanitation on the green agenda in the developed world. Dry sanitation and composting toilets are seen to be viable options only for the developing world and rural contexts. The Festival will show that they are beneficial in the developed world and urban settings too.

London needs new strategies to cope with climate change and drought. For 150 years, we have relied on water based sanitation to deal with waste. Every person in the UK flushes 50 litres of drinking water down the toilet every day. As water shortages and drought become more common, it is time to rethink this system. What are the alternatives? This is the question that UCLoo Festival will highlight.

What we'll deliver:

  • Visitors can attend a short film festival about all things toilet
  • Visitors can contribute their opinions and thoughts about these innovations
  • Visitors can discover the latest developments in sanitation research
  • Visitors can go on a loo tour
  • Visitors can learn about the sanitary revolution of the nineteenth century
  • Visitors can meet the makers of new toilet systems
  • Visitors can see a range of innovative toilet models
  • Visitors can try a working ecological toilet
  • Visitors can view design results from the make-a-thon during the closing event

Why it's a great idea:

We need to go public about toilets. More than 2.6 billion people in developing countries do not have access to a safe toilet, and in the developed world toilets use water - one of our most precious resources - to wash human waste away. The flushing toilet and water based sanitation systems that we take for granted in cities like London are unlikely to be replicated in the rapidly urbanising cities of the global south.

The world needs a new toilet.

UCLoo Festival is an exciting series of hands-on activities and events based on research relating to the challenge of redesigning the toilet for the 21st century. If England was the centre of the nineteenth-century water based sanitary revolution, then it should also be part of the new revolution for ecological sanitation in the twenty-first century.

Steps to get it done:

  • Host a make-a-thon in conjunction with the UCL Institute of Making
  • Organise a short film festival of toilet-related films
  • Public ecological toilet ribbon-cutting ceremony
  • Showcase 4 cutting-edge toilets
  • Twin our toilet to improve sanitation in a poor community overseas
  • Close the Festival with a high-profile book launch about the modern bathroom
  • Display the history of toilets and new research about sanitation
  • Distribute “I Know my Shit” buttons to supporters and people who have used the ecological toilet
  • Install a clean, attractive, ecological public toilet in the UCL Main Quadrangle
  • Invite the makers of innovative alternative toilet systems to present their projects
  • Launch the Festival with an internationally-recognized sanitation expert
  • Offer loo tours around Bloomsbury

Do you know your shit?

King Louis XIV of France did not shy away from having conversations with visitors while "conducting his business" on the toilet.

In medieval Spain, urine was used to clean the teeth; it was believed to whiten enamel and increase dental health.

In seventeenth century Britain, dung was worn in a bag around the neck to ward off illness.

In Shanghai in the 1920s, the nightsoil trade was so lucrative, it was controlled by gangsters.

In the 1950s, it was estimated that 90% of human waste in China was used as fertilizer.

55 % of the average poo is made up of bacteria – that’s 66 g every day per person!

In London alone, more than 400 million litres of drinking water are flushed down the toilet every day!


Location Camden

About the space

The North Observatory and North Lodge


London Borough of Camden

How will the money be spent?Total £22,738

Project management - £10,928 (48%)
Toilet structure (materials, construction and site clean-up) estimate - £4,410 (19%)
Display exhibition (materials, construction and design) estimate - £4,120 (18%)
Functioning ecological toilet estimate - £2,800 (12%)
Other - £480 (2%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Project management
Toilet structure (materials, construction and site clean-up) estimate
Display exhibition (materials, construction and design) estimate
Functioning ecological toilet estimate
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees

Total £22,738

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