Industrial designer and social entrepreneur, Mona Mijthab was invited by the Faculty of Architecture of UFM to give a talk about Mosan, the project that combines her passion for design and business, into a sanitation solution that is helping a lot of families, and how Mosan brought her to Guatemala.
She begins by sharing how she got inspired for the project by visiting a family in Kenya in 2014, which eventually became the first family benefited by the Mosan Toilet. She talks about her research process of the circumstances, product design and behaviour of people.
Those circumstances which if found throughout my journey are a few reasons that made me so passionate to think, what can I as a designer contribute to find solutions?, what is my role in the world?”
Mona describes the participatory approach of co creation that she used to design the product along with people from the communities instead of proposing them solutions of her own inspiration. This journey led her to tackle the sanitation problem sustainably with the Mosan Solution, which consists of three components: Sanitation system, Household toilet and Mosan education.
For me it was always important to get immediate feedback.”
Mijthab later explains in more detail the process of the system, describes the technology of the toilet, its parts and functioning and finally the education program to raise awareness and educate people on the importance of hygiene and good sanitation practices. This also includes picture-based awareness campaigns, public events and co-design focus on women and children. Later talks about the prototyping process:
This story also shows that we don’t always have to have the answers, we just need to be opened to be surprised and to be open to learn from people.”
Later Mona talks about the event that brought her to Guatemala to develop solutions in different areas of need for communities in Santa Catarina Palopó to create sustainable homes. She learned about the urgent need for sanitation there is and the common solutions that are given. Most proposals include flushed water systems, which are not sustainable because of the water shortage of the area. Indeed, there's a general Global Fight for Natural Resources. Mona and her college aim to introduce the Mosan solution to Guatemala to help the sanitation problem, help to reduce the contamination that goes to lake Atitlán and promote the recycling of the feces.
Finally she talks about their business model and the team behind the project.
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Universidad Francisco Marroquín