A jigsaw puzzle table lets you take your food or work away with you

This table concept looks like a game, but it’s serious business that just happens to have a playful twist.

There is no shortage of ideas and designs for modular tables and desks, offering the ability to expand or cut back on their features as needed. In most cases, you actually lose a part of the table when you remove those modular parts, ending up with something like an incomplete puzzle. That’s definitely the case with this intriguing concept for a semi-modular table, one that is almost literally an oversized puzzle. But while most modular tables lose a bit of themselves in the process, this one actually lets you take a piece of it with you, hopefully, to bring it back some other time.

Designer: Siyu Lou

The Puzzle Table is both fascinating and admittedly a tad confusing. On the one hand, you can consider it to be a modular table because you can remove its parts without drastically changing the nature of the table. On the other hand, you probably wouldn’t want to use a table with an even surface left by missing jigsaw pieces either. At its most basic, this is a table that happens to have removable trays built into its surface, with each tray designed in the shape of a puzzle piece.

There’s a bit of frivolity and playfulness involved in this otherwise plain white minimalist tray. When you remove a piece of that puzzle, you leave a gaping hole that’s impossible to ignore. Why you would take out a piece, however, is part of the narrative of the table, and it revolves around the kind of life you have at home or even in the office.

You can, for example, assign a different theme or purpose to each piece. One can be where you put your mug on, while a different and larger piece is for your laptop. Not all pieces are interchangeable, and it might be easier to just move the items on top around rather than carrying each puzzle piece. At the same time, it might be fun to color-code each tile and mix them up on different days.

Those tiles can also serve as something like food trays, where you can bring or take your meal in a cafeteria where empty base tables are laid out. A puzzle piece can also be a part of a meeting room table, where each participant conveniently brings in their notes and tools on a tray and then just slot them into the table. In less formal meetings, it could even become a sort of game or icebreaker.

The Puzzle Table does have provisions for different table sizes, though those will have fixed sizes determined by the puzzle pieces available. It’s a rather lighthearted way of looking at the idea of modularity that may be sending an indirect and completely unintended message about remembering to have a bit of fun anywhere you can take. Sometimes, that “anywhere” just happens to be the very table you work at, and this concept tries to make the best out of that situation.