Concept made with Jennifer Kay + Jacek Barcikowski (2010)
The Sidetrack table peripherally records you as you work in the home, tracing a pattern as you move from space to space. Marker pens plot this pattern as the table spins, oscillating in time with your movement between rooms. Sensors are placed in the areas you want to observe, for example the desk or the kitchen. By placing tags on the table, you purposefully work towards set tasks, with the patterns reflecting the journey towards these objectives. In this way, giving value to the intangible effort and pockets of time you devote whilst working from home.
The Sidetrack concept arose from the research around professionals who – when completely engaged in their work – found it difficult to separate home life from work. In most cases, they were often stationary in front of their desk with little interaction with other areas around the home. They did not generally avoid their work, so the notion of being ’sidetracked’ was a healthy way to alternate their somewhat static day.
The table mechanics were built with the motors from an old printer and turntable combined with custom components to sustain the operation of the arm. The movement of the arm itself is defined by the presence sensors placed around the home, recording where you are, whilst you work. Each day is then recorded on a paper disc for you to reflect and decipher your working pattern, creating a tangible culmination of your working day.