In a blog series we're calling "Weekly Innovation," we'll explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. (Have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.)
A Latvian designer named Kaspars Jursons is trying to help solve European water shortages by redesigning the men's restroom. His new urinal design includes a tap and sink right over it.
"It's not just a fancy piece of art," he says. "The idea is about function and consumption. You are washing your hands in the sink on top of the urinal, and the same water that's running is also used to flush. You don't have to use water twice, like when you use the urinal and wash your hands in separate sink."
The design, called Stand, sells for about $590 per unit. They're getting manufactured on a small production line and have already sold to buyers in Norway, Germany, Russia, Poland and Jursons' home country, Latvia.
Several sink-urinals are currently installed in a concert venue in Riga, Latvia, where Jursons reports they have worked smoothly and saved thousands of liters of water.
The tap is hands-free and sensor-activated, and Jursons says having the sink right over the urinal gives it another feature: an in-your-face reminder to wash your hands.
When asked whether folks might find the sink and the urinal a little too close for comfort, Jursons says, "It is more suitable for hygiene than just a urinal and then guys who don't wash [their] hands."
Ladies, if you think your restrooms deserve new design concepts too, stay tuned. Jursons says his next concept is a sink-toilet combo that not only saves water, but saves a lot of bathroom space.