Art students create simple life-changing inventions

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

In 2011, London’s Royal College of Art began what they call SustainRCA. It’s a program that encourages students to create solutions for serious global issues. Every year they have a Sustain Show & Awards, where students with the most creative ideas can show off their awesome designs. Several of these inventions offer a helping hand to third-world countries that don’t have access to basic necessities we take for granted – washing machines for clean clothes, sewage systems to flush away bathroom waste, and electricity to light up rooms.

Gu Bag
The Gu bag will offer tremendous relief to impoverished areas that don’t have the luxury of sewage systems. Be grateful if you have plumbing in your home. Many areas of the world do not.

Take Afghanistan, for example. Many people in this country have to wash their dirty clothes by hand, so Idrees Rasouli invented a machine to help. This machine can be pushed like a lawn mower and uses kinetic force – the energy of movement – as it rolls to help wash dirty clothes. It’s called the “Qaf.”

Meanwhile, in India, Shruti Grover created a project called “Gu Bank” that offers Gu bags as simple portable toilets for places that don’t have a working sewage system. After people ’go’ inside the Gu bags, they can take them to a station that will recycle the waste to make energy.

It’s crazy to imagine how some countries view energy as a precious resource, while others, like America, use far too much. That’s where Lucy Norman’s “Sun Sill” can definitely save the day by cutting down on fuel and electricity consumption. She designed a series of moveable mirrors that reflect light into rooms as the sun moves across the sky throughout the day. There’s hardly any need to turn on light bulbs, so the mirrors actually save energy.

The Qaf, Gu Bank, and Sun Sill are just a few of the clever projects from London’s Royal College of Art. Thanks to SustainRCA, the world can expect more helpful inventions in the years to come.

Images courtesy of Royal College of Art, Idrees Rasouli, and Shruti Grover. Video courtesy of Lucy Norman.