Space Innovation

Many technologies developed for space have helped improve the human condition on earth!


August 17, 2020


Matthew Waldman
Xavier Ferre

Professor and Design Researcher
Keio University Graduate school of Media Design.


Equipment for space travel and outer space habitation demands a level of modularity that adapts to various body types and gravitational conditions. By taking cues from the human body itself, we’ve imagined an organic design that can be used at any posture whether in stillness or in turbulence. Stability rings allow for a wide range of usage from any orientation; there is no ideal position, only the one you most prefer.

BACKGROUND – Increasing Access to Toilets Can Save Millions of Lives and US $260 Billion in Economic Losses

One out of every three people in the world today has no toilet. Of the 2.5 billion people without proper toilets or sewage systems, nearly one billion people regularly defecate in rivers or fields, spreading germs that cause diarrheal disease. The diarrheal disease kills thousands of children each day – it is the second leading cause of death in children under five. Children who survive this preventable disease often miss school due to illness or suffer from malnutrition and stunting detrimental to their long-term health. Furthermore, poor sanitation also leads to costs valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars every year by damaging health, environment, and tourism.

FORM FACTOR INSPIRATION – Our toilet design takes inspiration from the shape of a seahorse or tardigrade, both unconventional and uncommonly-presented animals in design. NAS*T should be seen as a member of the crew; constructed with high-grade FKM, it takes the appearance of something charming, soft, huggable, and almost cute.

USAGE – The waste receiving receptacles are concealed until use and employ siphoning technology to ensure zero spillage. Inspired by natural form factors from nature, initial conceptions resembled a sperm whale’s mouth, while the final design mimics the function of genital structures found in animals with cloacas.

TECHNICAL INNOVATION – Another important design and technical innovation is the use of negative pressure and airflow created from the process of riding the unit itself. The gentle pulses of your hands or feet in the stability grips will create negative air flows through a sophisticated series of one-way valves. These valves move waste towards the base and can be supplemented with a simple siphoning unit in cases when sufficient negative airflow was not created. The self-sealing design also prevents accidents or spillage.

Our NAS*T design with innovations for space has real-world applications for improving sanitation and water conservation on earth!


1 – Familiar positions simulate natural bodily functions. Seat yourself in a way that feels right — The NAS*T has an ergonomic design that conforms to human intuition. Moreover, it’s designed with microgravity and zero gravity in mind!

2 – Easy and functional no matter the gravity. Changes in gravitational conditions won’t require you to make any reconfigurations on the NAS*T — its modular design makes it simple to use regardless of its orientation.

3 – Strap yourself in from the top, the side, backwards, forwards — without having to think twice. NAS*T has stabilizing rings that have been strategically positioned to ensure that any position can be assumed automatically on instinct.

4 – A friendly, natural design that introduces the character. Something comfortable to use should by extension look comforting — NAS*T has an attractive, rounded out aesthetic that’s both inviting and easy on the eyes.


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