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Design Icon: Philippe Starck’s Juicy Salif

by Maxwell Tielman

Design*Sponge | Design Icon: Juicy Salif Lemon Juicer

Design: Juicy Salif Lemon Juicer

Designer: Philippe Starck (French, b. 1949)

Date: 1988

Country of Origin: Italy

Manufacturer: Alessi

Materials: aluminum and polyamide

Background: The Juicy Salif lemon juicer is not just one of French designer Philippe Starck’s most well-known designs, it is also one of his most polarizing. A true piece of Postmodernism through and through, the juicer is the antithetical opposite of the Modernist dictum, “form follows function.” Although the piece was designed to juice lemons (its original squid-like conception scrawled onto a napkin at an Italian cafe, as design lore has it), its detractors are quick to note that it hardly serves its purpose, spraying acidic juice everywhere and leaving a mess on the countertop. What the object lacks in functionality, however, it makes up for in beauty and humorous panache, providing tongue-in-cheek commentary about design, form and decoration.

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

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