design icons/Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer, 1989


Designed by Philippe Starck in 1989, this iconic lemon squeezer is obviously a functional design, but also a moving and mysterious sculptural work. A lemon squeezer’s job is to get the juice out, leaving behind the pits and rind.

Created at the request of the exemplary Italian product manufacturer, Alessi, its unifunctional design offers little or no advantage over traditional squeezers. What the Juicy Salif does offer is a unique appearance at a less-than-competitive price ($75). It reflects both architectural and entomological influences: The product’s shape has its roots in Middle Eastern mosques, while the weight of its furrowed body is evenly distributed among three spindly legs.

A design icon of the late 1980s, the Juicy Salif gives tangible form to the era’s passion for high-consumerism. The product smacks of the “bad form” tenets of postmodernism. But there are ergonomic problems, as well. The Juicy Salif’s cast-aluminum shape stands a majestic 12 inches high–a bit too tall on the average countertop to comfortably grip and compress a lemon. In addition, the grooves in the press are difficult to clean.



Phillipe Starck is on of the best-known contemporary designers in the world. He has not only received public acclaim for his amazing building interior designs but has also proved to be an accomplished architect and product designer.
Much of his work produced in the 1980’s and 1990’s were influenced by fashion and novelty. It has even been referred to by some as being ‘overdesigned’. In the 21st century his approach to design seems to have changed.
Starck has recently promoted the ethos that honesty and integrity should be at the core of design. Products should not created as ‘throw away artifacts’, only surviving for as long as they remain in fashion but should ideally have longevity and durability. He believes that as designers we need to be both honest and objective.
Philippe Starck was born in Paris on 18th January 1949 the son of an aircraft designer; it is he who probably inspired the young Starck. Even at a very early age Starck showed enthusiasm for design. Starck lives and works in Paris.
Products designed by Starck can be seen on display in the collections of a number of European and American museums, among them the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and the Museum of Design in London. Exhibitions of his work, either alone or in conjunction with that of other designers, have been held, among other places, in Paris, Marseille, Rome, Munich, Düsseldorf, Kyoto, Tokyo, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.


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