• 11.01.11

Sign Of The Times: A Table That Hides Your Work, At The Press Of A Button

You’ll thank it!

Sign Of The Times: A Table That Hides Your Work, At The Press Of A Button

As more people abandon stuffy office buildings to set up workplaces at home, the question of where our jobs stop and our private lives begin gets harder to answer.


Here to introduce a better work-life balance to those for whom work and life are, in a very real sense, intertwined is Dutch design student Sabine Marcelis. Marcelis has invented a table that discourages workaholics by actually hiding their work from them.

[The table, in its off and on positions; It works ]

Table-Table is covered in “smart glass” that, at the press of the button, magically transforms from a transparent to an opaque surface. Stuff your papers and other office effects in the shelf beneath, and they’ll be plenty visible (and easy to access) during the day. Then when 5 p.m. rolls around, stab the button, and abracadabra! Everything disappears.

It might seem hard to believe, but that simple visual trick could actually rein in compulsive work habits. Our eyeballs are always sending powerful messages to our brains. Think about food. Research shows that just by removing snacks from plain sight, people eat less. It stands to reason that stashing away our work could have a comparable effect.

Though, just to be sure, maybe Marcelis should padlock the shelf.

[Images courtesy of Sabine Marcelis]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.