The Bartlett School of Architecture


UCLoo Festival invite you to discuss the future of sanitation

18 November 2013


"Every person in the UK flushes 50 litres of drinking water down the toilet daily. As water shortages and drought become more common, water-based sanitation needs to change. We need an ecological alternative." This is the message from the team behind the UCLoo Festival, a two-week long festival, running from UN World Toilet Day on 19 November, until 3 December.

The UCLoo Festival invites participants to an exciting series of activities, events, and exhibits in Bloomsbury, to create a discussion around the future of sanitation. The event will centre around the installation of a clean, attractive, and ecological public toilet in UCL’s Main Quadrangle for visitors to try out. The toilet will be opened by UCL's Provost in a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2.30pm on Tuesday 19 November.

The history, geography and culture of toilets will be explored through a tour of local loos, a short festival of toilet-based films, and the launch of a book about the modern bathroom.  A toilet make-a-thon will run in conjunction with UCL’s Institute of Making, challenging participants to construct an ecological toilet that meets the expectations of modern Londoners. Throughout the programme, visitors will have the chance to meet sanitation experts and contribute their own solutions and thoughts to the debate.

The UCL team – Sarah Bell, environmental engineer, Tse-Hui Teh, urban designer, and The Bartlett's Barbara Penner, architectural historian – have received support from UCL, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the UCL Public Engagement event ‘Focus on the Positive’, and through public donations on Spacehive, a funding platform for civic projects.

Dr Sarah Bell, (UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering) says: “Using clean drinking water to flush toilets just isn’t sustainable. The world needs a new toilet: the UCLoo Festival will kick-start a wider conversation about what we need to do to make London’s sanitation ecological.”

The festival closes with a Make-a-Thon exhibition and book launch of Bathroom by Barbara Penner at the Bartlett School of Architecture's Wates House.

Drop in to visit the festival on any of the days it is open: or you can find more information on the UCLoo Festival blog , or via Facebook and Twitter @UCLooFestival.