Category Archives: research

Our Sewer Catastrophe Companion was featured several months back on the excellent Discard Studies blog. Max Liboiron does excellent writing on waste, reminding people what it’s really about:

Constructive Interference: Opening March 19th

Mat’s hand sink design, our bathroom posters and the Emergency Sanitation Handbook from the PNCA class will be on display later this month in Atlanta, GA. The show is a collaboration between the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Emory University.

Mathew Made a Movie

Using a lot of newsprint, duct tape, and imovie 6 in our basement Mathew made a kickstarter video for the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) If you’ve been looking for an at-cost balloon kit for aerial mapping, this kickstarter is to help PLOTS open up an online store to sell you one.

Portable Composting Toilets for Multi Day Events

The Cloacina Project with design and implementation from PNCA’s graduate students in Collaborative Design created an open source hardware platform for toilets, urinals, hand sinks and privacy screens for portable low cost dry toilets. Recognizing that hardware is only half the problem the PNCA students addressed the user interface by creating a training protocol, help [...]

Public Laboratory wins a grant from the Knight News Challenge!

At the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, of which I’m a co-founder, we’ve just been awarded $500,000 by the Knight Foundation. Congrats to all my co-founders, Jeff, Sara, Shannon, Adam, Liz,Stewart, and to our whole online community, and thanks to the Knight Foundation! This is really going jump-start a lot of work! Read [...]

Understanding the low demand for sanitation for those with little money

Mat and I had a chance to hear Isabel Guenther speak on May 24th on the dynamics of sanitation and water investments as part of the Cewas program in Switzerland. Guenther is Professor of Development Economics at the Center for Development and Cooperation (NADEL) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). Guenther [...]

Eight Rungs on a Ladder of Citizen Participation

This is a chart from page 42 of Colin Ward’s book “Streetwork: the Exploding School” first published in 1973. the original reference is to Sherry Arnstein’s “A Ladder of Citizen Participation in the USA”, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, July 1969. Streetwork is a great book on environmental education. Nils Norman runs a [...]

Tuning the Aeration of our Pile

We’ve built a compost pile that is designed to be minimally turned and composted in a vessel, so we’re using a blower to get air in, and we need to tune the aeration rate. Our first problem running aeration tests is to measure the effective aeration of our system. As detailed below, the New Alchemy [...]

Greenhouse & Sensorhub up and running

Check out our data streaming in at explanations and images of the greenhouse and electronics will be forthcoming.

Diagram of Types of Composting Toilets

Ah, at last I found the simplest illustration of types of composting toilets. It’s from a review of household dry sanitation practices around the globe put out by Toilettes du Monde in France. The full article hasn’t been translated into english yet, but the summary has.

Emergency Sanitation Workshop This Saturday

We'll be doing a 45 minute workshop on Saturday June 2nd @ 2pm at King Elementary School as part of Resilience
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