Juicy Salif

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!

Phillipe Stark & Allesi Juicy Salif the lemon squeezer

Juicy Salif | Image Credit

Philippe Starck Allessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

Juicy Salif | Image Credit

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.”

Alberto Alessi

Philippe Starck Allessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

Sketch By Philippe Strack | Image Credit

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

Philippe Starck Allessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

Juicy Salif | Image Credit

Philippe Starck Allessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

Salif in Action | Image Credit

Philippe Starck Allessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

Juicy Selif | Image Credit

Philippe Starck Allessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

Juicy Salif -Packaging | Image Credit

Philippe Starck Allessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

Juicy Salif- Instructions for use | Image Credit

Philippe Starck Allessi Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer

Mold For Juicy Salif | Image Credit

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.”

Phillippe Strack



13 thoughts on “Juicy Salif

  1. Hi, so I found a minute and i think your blog is great maybe just lacking a bit a colour for my liking but there again I think it complements your writing style so it works. I’ve only had chance to read a couple of posts and they are really easy to read which is great, only i’d love to see more of your personality in your writing to complement the things your talking about. I dunno maybe add in a quirky story or something? but keep up the great blogging!

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  3. Wow! this is the best example of – ‘designing’ is not just about form or function, but to be in a state of pure joy, both the designer and the end user. As designers we have confronted similar situations, where we come up with a cool idea but in the process of ‘designing’ we lose the crux of it. It’s about the instinctiveness of the expression of the idea that adds value to this design and very few designers achieve this.

    As he rightly mentions,” it is to start conversations”, what other way to explore the joy of squeezing the lemon with dripping juice including the mess around!

    We should take a closer look at some of the ‘non- designed’ objects around us.They may not be extremely functional or pretty, but they engage the user, arouse certain feelings within us and makes us fall in love with them. We have complaints, we won’t proudly keep it in our show cases, but still we are connected to them.
    It is this nature of a product that I find in Juicy Salif and rightly deserves to be a classic.

    great blog Trisha! Thanks for sharing. looking forward for more.

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