Who are we? We are a 4 person all female interdisciplinary team of industrial designers, a civil engineer and a biomedical engineer hailing all the way from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. We have minors including Marketing, Sociology, Women’s Studies, Public Health, Chemistry, Environmental Engineering, and Social Psychology. We have complimentary skills and experiences and we have chartered a new path for interdisciplinary relations between our individual colleges at Tech.
In 2011, I, Jasmine Burton, was inspired to “do something” about the sanitation crisis in our world because 2.6 billion people in the world today do not have access to their basic sanitation needs, and of these people, women and girls are disproportionately burdened by water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) inequities. Since then, I have had an undeniable passion for sanitation and have been seeking ways to use my Industrial design background to creatively address this global issue. As a freshmen at Georgia Tech, Jasmine knew that she wanted to design toilets no matter how strange it sounded.
Fast forward to senior year of college. I was interested in getting involved in the work of Sanivation, an organization that created a novel solar treatment device for sustainably treating and repurposing human waste. After forming a relationship with founder Emily Woods and Andrew Foote over the course of my collegiate years, I finally asked if there was some way that I could get involved. As Tech graduates themselves, their solution was simple. Let’s make your senior design project a toilet project.
So in August 2013, Erin Cobb and I, joined together as partners in the ME/ID design studio section taught by Professor Wayne Li and Dr. Julie Lindsey. However, we needed some engineers. That’s when I posted this status on Facebook.
Within a few days, Brandie Banner and Becky Byler (neither of whom are Mechanical Engineers), responded to me and worked out their schedules in order to join the class. The rest was history.
Throughout the 15 weeks, we really became a cohesive team that ideating, fabricated, debated, and concentrated on how to best utilize our diversity as a team to address this global issue.
Many of our design presentations and deliverables can be found here which is our old team website.
This intensive and interdisciplinary senior design capstone course is the reason why SafiChoo was born. We are the sanitation Wonder Women.