A team of ASU College of Design students and faculty were recognized this spring for their transgenerational toilet design concept, Go With the Flo™ by the Northwest Design Invitational (NDI). Five excellence criteria were exercised at the NDI biennial competition to recognize outstanding design: appropriate aesthetics, design innovation, ecological responsibility and market and user benefits.
Design team members honored with the NDI’s Breaking the Rules Silver Award include John Takamura and Dosun Shin, College of Design faculty members, and Tamara Christensen and Dean Bacalzo, Master of Science in Design students.
“We hope our design will alter the toilet archetype by the year 2030,” says John Takamura, design team leader and assistant professor of industrial design in the ASU College of Design.
The Flo™ toilet is an ergonomic, sustainable design concept for baby boomers that functions like a squat toilet. Designers maintain that using the Flo™ toilet is akin to yoga – by building and strengthening abdominal and back muscles. Only one-half to one gallon of water is used for flushing and The Flo™ reuses water from hand washing. To flush water from the tanks to the toilet, the Flo™ employs an electromagnetic ball valve that uses electromagnets. Go With the Flo™ also is free of mechanical parts. The toilet is fully self-sustaining and independent of electric power.
Takamura and his design team not only have changed the concept of a typical bathroom experience with their Go With the Flo™ design, but they also shut out the competition. According to NDI event organizers, this year they received more than 80 entries from 25 different design organizations and universities.