Skip to main content?

115 | Designing for Women & Girls

Anna Meddaugh is an American designer who developed a personal, reusable urinal designed for women and girls in refugee camps to use at night when it is too dangerous to go to the communal toilets. She named her design “The Night Loo.”

115 | Designing for Women & Girls

Initially, Anna enjoyed a career in public health data management and analysis. In that role, she employed logic, organization, and problem-solving skills to strategize around public health issues. Ultimately, she went into design to find solutions to the problems she was identifying through her data analysis. 

The Night Loo allows women and girls living in refugee camps to relieve themselves within the safety and comfort of their own shelter at night, when the threat of rape makes going to the communal latrines too dangerous. The injection molded silicone loo is designed for squatting over; the petal-like flaps create a splash guard when open and snap closed to cover the contents after use. After urinating and rinsing herself, the user drops in a small pre-portioned packet of super-absorbent polymer encased in dissolving PVA film, which turns liquid waste into an odorless powder in less than one minute. In the morning she can carry the loo to the latrines; one end pops out into a spout, allowing her to simply pour out the powder. The loo is easily cleaned by unfolding it flat. The product is compact, simple to use, and safe to keep inside the living quarters. 

The Night Loo has already received international attention, including the Core77 Design Award for Design for Social Impact (2018), a finalist for the IDSA/IDEA Award, as well as a finalist for the James Dyson Award.

We were able to catch up with Anna Meddaugh on our podcast Social Design Insights, where she discussed the role of prototyping, her process and how she plans to develop the Night Loo into production.

Have a listen.


Our opening theme music for 2019 is "Bang Bang" and our closing theme is "Salvame" both by Eljuri from her album "La Lucha." The break music for this episode is "Woman" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono from their album "Double Fantasy."