Certain utilitarian household device have hardly changed over time. Take for instance the smoke alarm, a safety device which has marred a great many walls and ceilings out of necessity, and only recently has the product category seen any evolutionary changes in form or function, most notably with the release of home network connected Nest Protect. But even that device, with its Internet of Things features and Web 2.0 aesthetic, looks remarkably and recognizably like the various smoke alarms which came before it decades ago. All which makes the Lento Smoke Alarm by Paola Suhonen for Finland’s Jalo Helsinki an unusual example of design flying free of categorical expectations.
A follow-up to the candy shaped Kupu smoke alarm by Harri Koskinen, the Lento is a photoelectric smoke alarm shaped like a moth, perhaps a nod to the nocturnal insect’s reputation for being drawn to fire. The insect-shaped smoke alarm’s design will likely prove divisive, as the entomological could prove a hard sell amongst the 6-legged squeamish. But aside from its unique design, the components and smoke detection of the Lento is otherwise typical of most every capable smoke alarm, including a 5 year battery life.