Adapting the Design Concept of Water Closet for Chair Production

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March, 2019
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This research is about adapting the design concept of Water Closet for the production of three ‘Water Closet Chairs’ for siting only (not for defecation), to be used in our corridors. sitting rooms etc. in our built environment to help improve our sitting posture (vertebrae column) for good health and longer life expectancy. Background study by the researcher has revealed that in Ghana (particularly in the cities), aesthetically appealing, expensive and imported Water Closets have been hidden in our wash rooms inside homes, hotels, restaurants, schools and offices for one purpose; excretion. This deprives visitors (villagers who have never seen Water Closets before sit on very low-level stools and stones), that negatively affects their posture due to lack of good upholstery and international standard measurements. The aim of this research is to pursue creativity and innovation in the Clay and Ceramic industry by exposing the axiology and content oriented account of Water Closet seat in terms of elements and principles of design (colour, shape, visual and tactile texture) to visitors (especially villagers). The objectives of the research are to: integrate Nfensi clay and Mim Granite stones to improve on fragility and tensile strength in the construction of ’Water Closet Chair’. To design and construct additional two ‘Water Closet Chairs’ using Discarded Water Closet and Swivel chair parts as well as (Triplochiton scleroxylon) ‘Wawa’ wood sawdust; To expose the content oriented account of Water Closet seats to visitors. For the sake of gathering enough data for this study, the researcher activated both qualitative and quantitative (pragmatism) research designs as data collection instruments. This paved the way for the full use of descriptive and experimental research methods, purposive sampling techniques, interviews and observations as well as library and field research. Through this research, it has been found that local raw clay materials such as Nfensi clay and Mim Granite Stones could be mixed to form a strong clay body after firing and testing that can withstand tensile strength, improve on fragility for chair construction, capable of carrying human weight. This research has also demonstrated the possibility of integrating discarded Water Closet bowls, metals and Reclining Chair parts in the production of aesthetically appealing ‘Water Closet Chair’ with international standard measurements. The researcher would like to recommend that locally produced Water Closet for excretion from Saltpond Ceramics in Central Region of Ghana and other clay and earthenware producing industries should consider using this study, to further research into local materials such as Nfensi clay and Mim quarry stones (which are in abundant in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana). Produce cheap Water Closets for excretion, siting, aesthetics etc. to help discourage importation of expensive Water Closet bowls and chairs from outside the country. This will further encourage employment by setting up more local Water Closet Chair producing industries through the recycling of discarded Water Closet bowls and Reclining Chairs that are dumped around our environment causing bleeding of mosquitoes, malaria and soil infertility. This at the same time will discourage wooden chair production, which depletes our forest that results to deforestation, drought, desertification and shortage of food in Ghana.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Integrated Art (Clay and Earthenware Technology).