Steven M. Johnson describes himself as "an occasional inventor, whimsicalist and possibilitist." He writes on his website:
Though creating invention-themed cartoons has been for me nothing more than a sideline business, I’ve never stopped amusing myself by tinkering with ideas for plausible or outrageous products, or by trying to anticipate future trends and inventions.
Today people like him go on Kickstarter and make millions, or are called futurists and get schools and TED talks. Having had a look at a pile of Johnson's Patent Depending cartoons, it's amazing how prescient so many of them are, and how many of them we have shown on TreeHugger.
For instance, the idea of combining a sink and a toilet (and I like soilet!) is in fact really sensible, as the grey water from the sink can flush the toilet. Lots of people are doing that now; the prettiest is the Roca Toilet/ sink combo. However the toilet combined with shower is absolutely brilliant; it collects a whole lot more grey water than just a sink does. More in TreeHugger: Roca Toilet Integrates Sink, Grey Water Cistern
Here is another, where South Korean designer Jang Woo-seok tackles this aspect with this clever water-saving design, which uses an double compartment system that stores greywater from a connected washbasin to flush the stainless steel toilet bowl below. More in TreeHugger
Even Bucky Fuller tried to do this in his prefabricated bathroom but couldn't get the plumbers interested; there is less money in connecting only one fixture instead of two. More in History of the Bathroom Part 4: The Perils of Prefabrication
Steven Johnson was really on to something with his Patent Depending series; I hope to show a lot more of them on TreeHugger.