Table-Non-Table

Design for promised utility and appropriation.

The table-non-table is a slowly moving stack of paper supported by a motorized aluminum chassis, powered through an electrical cord plugged into a wall socket. The main functionality, so to speak, is movement. The movement of the table is in short durations (5-12 seconds) that occur once during a longer period of time (a random selection between 20 to 110 minutes). To date, the table-non-table has lived with many households for three weeks to five months.

The table-non-table, informed by the notion of everyday design, manifests an approach that sees interactive artifacts as resources for creative use and reuse. In essence, this research argues that everyone is a designer. The implications of this shift include the design of technological artifacts as resources or what we refer to as things of practice, the simplification or minimization of interaction to fit the competences, materials and motivations and meanings of the respective practices such as home life; and the notion that interaction design outcomes are assessed for their interpretive potential as much as their promised utility.

Hauser, S., Wakkary, R., Odom, W., Desjardins, A., Lin, H., Dalton, M., … de Boer, G. (2018). Deployments of the table-non-table: A Reflection on the Relation Between Theory and Things in the Practice of Design Research. In Proceedings of the conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '18). Montreal QC, Canada: ACM Press. https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3173775

The table-non-table, informed by the notion of everyday design, manifests an approach that sees interactive artifacts as resources for creative use and reuse.