In my Iconic Design series, today I want to write about a Lemon Squeezer. Yes, you read that right; a banal lemon squeezer has made it on this list! It is none other than the very controversial, yet counted among the major-leagues of modern design, the Juicy Salif. Perhaps the only lemon squeezer that has earned a spot at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Before I came across Juicy Salif, I never thought a mundane lemon squeezer could capture my attention and thoughts for so long, but isn’t that the crux of Emotional Design!
The Juicy Salif lemon squeezer is designed by internationally renowned French designer Philippe Starck for the Italian firm Alessi.
“I received a napkin from Starck, on it among some incomprehensible marks (tomato sauce, in all likelihood) there were some sketches. Sketches of squid. They started on the left, and as they worked their way over to the right, they took on the unmistakable shape of what was to become the Juicy Salif. While eating a dish of squid and squeezing a lemon over it, Starck drew on the napkin his famous lemon squeezer.”
This lemon squeezer is controversial as many of Starck’s other designs because some say it doesn’t do its intended job very well, is not dishwasher safe and creates a mess on the work-top. Others celebrate it as a piece of form over function.
In my design school day I was staunchly in the first category but slowly I find myself transitioning into the latter! Although I am not so sure if that is a good thing!
“Starck has imbued what was a perfectly adequate kitchen drawer filler with aspirational desirability, indications of intellectual meaning and a mythical lack of juicing prowess.”
–Michael Czerwinski, of London’s Design Museum
Salif stands 29 centimetres tall, is made out of cast and polished aluminium and is available on Amazon for 58 USD. Alessi has also produced 10,000 gold-plated versions, which were not intended for use as the citric acid in the lemon discolours the plating.
On a closing note, I have to agree with Starck’s words here:
“It’s not meant to squeeze lemons, it is meant to start conversations.”