Although it isn’t really apparent at first, designer Yu Ren did mention that the inspiration for the table came from the popular Japanese game featuring a hungry yellow circle with a gaping mouth. “I eat therefore I am”, says Ren as he describes Pac-Man’s demeanor, and explains how the table’s open mouth has the same fun, hungry appeal. The table, however, comes with a cylindrical design that opts for space and material optimization over being too similar to the original Pac-Man.
Designer: Yu Ren
The Pac Man Side Table’s appeal lies in the fact that it masks its inspiration rather well, resulting in a piece of furniture that looks unique. The table’s design is realized using curved plywood that’s layered with a disc of black marble on the top and bottom. The side table also comes with a handle that sits flush against the cylindrical body of the table, and opens out to reveal a light strip built into the inside. There’s a hidden ambient light built into the top of the table’s inner compartment, filling the interiors with a nice wash of warm light. Touching the handle also helps toggle the light as well as adjust its temperature.
To pay homage to the original Pac Man, Ren designed a version in yellow too. I’ll be honest, it resembles a LEGO head more than anything else, but just like beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, creative execution lies in the mind of the creator. The inclusion of lighting panels is a clever touch, although that means needing to keep the side table near a plug point at all times.
The Pac Man Side Table is a Gold Winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2023.