A design team created as part of the incubator programme at the HEC business school in Paris hopes to inaugurate a “new era” in global toilet design.
Their ideas for the company, Trone, were initially developed in “the world’s biggest start-up campus” known as Station F, where HEC runs programmes. It is there that they will install their first eight customised toilets in a new restaurant called Felicita, which forms part of the Big Mamma culinary empire (itself run by two HEC alumni).
“Toilets have an amazing history,” said Trone chief executive officer Hugo Volpei. “And [they are] so central to our lives. There are studies showing that in an average lifespan a human spends an entire year in this space. And yet we spend more time choosing our sofa or cupboard than the toilet we use so often.”
The toilets at Station F have been given unusual names such as “Origines”, “Le Sacré”, “Arc-en-ciel” and “Chalet”. Trone’s longer-term plans to make their products “desirable, identifiable and differentiable” include a second generation of toilets that will use artificial intelligence, digital technology and robotics, as well as essential oil sprays, to “facilitate self-cleaning mechanisms”.