One of our office smoke alarms went off the other day. No reason for it. It was just being temperamental. But looking at the annoying beeping box it struck me how functional and how ugly these things we have in all of our homes are. Yes, they need to be reasonably priced and functional. But should functionality mean ugly? After all, British designers like Robin Day managed to mix function and value with aesthetically pleasing design. So, I was pleased to come across this chirpy, quirky design for a smoke alarm from Louise van der Veld. Like a canary in a coal mine, the Chick-a-Dee smoke detector sounds the alarm when it senses danger. Only in this case it sounds the alarm by singing sweetly yet urgently instead of dropping dead. Technology wins.