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Watch Better by Design with Richard Seymour and Dick Powell online: Episode 2 Designs on your loo

Industrial designers Richard Seymour and Dick Powell attempt a radical redesign of the humble lavatory which has not changed since its inception over 200 years ago. They identify the toilet's main shortcomings as being uncomfortable, difficult to clean and hard for men to aim at. The designers visit Japan to investigate toilets in that country, where they find automatic lids, built in deodorisers, heated seats, and electronic sounds to hide the sounds when the toilet is being used. They even find a model which washes, dried and massages the user, and another model which has a microbiological coating on the ceramic which kills bacteria and loosens waste so it flushes away without staining. Those featured in the programme include Professor Alexander Kira, who has studied bathroom behaviour for over forty years, and Charles Kyriacou and Alex Gemmel of toilet manufacturers Shires, the company who will put the new design into production.

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