What’s the deal with pocket lighters being so difficult to use? We know there are supposed to be safety locks to prevent children from accidentally burning themselves, but it always takes an average of three clicks until we can successfully make fire. When you turn the lighter downward (say, to light a birthday candle), you also run the risk of the flame hitting your thumb. Zippo lighters are cooler and safer to use, but they’re also more pricey. Well, it only took society this long to reinvent the pocket lighter by combining it with the design of full-size, common kitchen tool. And the result is beautiful.
Rodrigo Torres, designer of the oddly-named Sushi lighter, wanted to re-standardize the look and feel of a pocket lighter. By drawing inspiration from the domestic icon of a kitchen lighter and mid-century appliance aesthetics, he created a line of mini fire starters that’s sleek, contemporary, and easy to use. The slight curvatures of the lighter, quirky colors, and portable size should please everyone from chain smokers to casual chefs. The trigger, designed below the typical point of traditional pocket lighters, also addresses the issue against possible burns when the device is turned downward. Shaped more like a gun, the design allows users to push more easily and with better force.
“I wanted to create an iconic, domestic, and sympathetic object. A product that, by using the ‘collective memory’ embedded in its shapes and colors, reminded the user of the emotiveness and warmth of that period of time when home appliances told a story through simplicity, joy, and a very strong identity,” Torres told Co.Design.
Although the Sushi lighter is not currently available in North America, the product has made its release in Europe and Asia. We’ll keep you posted when it hits our market, along with price information.