UCL Urban Laboratory


UCLoo Festival

19 November 2013–03 December 2013, 12:00 am–12:00 am

UCLoo Festival

Event Information

Open to




Convenors: Sarah Bell (UCL Urban Laboratory Co-Director), Barbara Penner (Bartlett School of Architecture) and Tse-Hui Teh (Bartlett School of Planning)

The world needs a new toilet. Every person in the UK flushes 50 litres of drinking water down the toilet every day. In the rest of the world, 2.6 billion people are left without any access to sanitation at all. As water shortages and drought become more common, it is time to rethink our reliance on water-based sanitation. What are the alternatives? Help find the answers by supporting the UCLoo Festival.

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. It will open on UN World Toilet Day, 19 November, and run until 3 December. The Festival will:

·        Install a clean, attractive, ecological public toilet in the UCL Main Quadrangle, for visitors to use.

·         Showcase four cutting-edge toilets

·         Display the history of toilets and new research about sanitation

·         Host a make-a-thon in conjunction with the UCL Institute of Making

·         Offer loo tours around Bloomsbury

·         Organise a short film festival of toilet-related films

·         Invite the makers of innovative alternative toilet systems to present their projects

·         Launch with an internationally-recognised sanitation expert

·         Open with a public ecological toilet ribbon-cutting ceremony

·         Distribute souvenir buttons to people who have used the ecological toilet

·         Close with a high-profile book launch about the modern bathroom

The organisers need your help to run the Festival. They are raising funds on spacehive to pay for the exhibition and to install an ecological toilet in the middle of London. Supporters will receive advanced invitation to events and special perks, including being among the first people in London to go to an ecological loo and a commemorative badge marking their visit.

"We need to go public about toilets. 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." 

The UCLoo Festival will kick start a wider conversation about what is needed to make London's sanitation ecological. Your help is needed to bring it to life.

Further information: