Hi guys today we dive directly into design by talking about the most controversial hand held citrus fruit squeezer of the 20th Century: Philippe Stark’s Juicy Sailf for Alessi! Here it is. Those who have never seen this thing will probably be wondering “what is it?” and right after “what is this for?”

Fortunately for you there is me ^_^! I already spoiled it… it’is a lemon juicer, an old fashioned (is it really?) hand held citrus squeezer to be precise. Now, to better understand what we are talking about, let me show you briefly how it works:

Instructions for use: just place a cup underneath the Juicy Salif, press and twist the half citrus against the top and then you’ll see the squeezed juice flowing down the grooves into your very cup.


Alessi Juicy Salif citrus squeezer by Philippe Starck features:

• aluminium casting, mirror polished

• Iconic design by Philippe Starck

• Hand wash only

• 5.5″ l x 5.5″ w x 11.5″ h

Juicy Salif is made of die-cast aluminum, so it is absolutely light and functional, very easy to use thanks to the polished finishes.

The material used is excellent for getting in contact with food, so it does not alter or even deteriorate liquids.

In order to preserve it at best it is advisable not to let it come into contact with atmospheric agents and above all with sea air which could cause the oxidation of the metal, thus making the material unusable.

The use of aluminum makes the structure quite delicate at high pressure, but it is resistant and suitably practical as well.

It’s not dishwasher safe, so wash it under running water to avoid damages. Once used and washed, you can place it on a shelf as a decorative design object.


Alessi’s Company was founded in 1921 as a workshop with foundry for sheet metal and metal processing which soon became one of the leading Factories of Italian design.

At the turn of the 90’s the Company opened to plastic, wood, glass, porcelain and ceramics. During the first decade of the 21st century, Alessi collaborated with designers of various nationalities to create functional objects aimed at capturing people’s imagination.

Philippe Starck, born in Paris in 1949, is one of the most original and creative designers of our time that worked with Alessi. He talks about himself as a Japanese architect, an American art director, a German industrial designer, a French artistic director, an Italian furniture designer.


Once upon a time a brilliant, creative mind, named Philippe Starck, was having lunch in a restaurant on the Amalfi coast. He ordered a plate of calamari.

His thoughts were focused on finding a brilliant idea for the design of a tray, commissioned by Alessi, when he realized that he had no lemon to squeeze out of his squid.

Right before beckoning to the waiter, he was struck by an intuition. In order not to lose everything that was going through his head, he threw down some sketches on the restaurant’s paper towel.

Then, he sent it directly to Alberto Alessi, the manager of the company. When the paper came into his hands, Alberto did’t really realized what it was at first.

At the end he saw scribbles representing, in all likelihood, a squid swimming between grease stains and tomato sauce.

From left to right these scribbles gradually took on the shape of today’s Juicy Salif lemon squeezy.

Alberto Alessi says “A true design work must move people, convey emotions, bring back memories, surprise, and go against common thinking” and we have to give it to him that this is exactly the point with Juicy Salif.

Nowadays it is one of the Italian brand’s most iconic products and, still, is listed as the most provocative article in Alessi catalog.


We said that this citrus fruit squeezer is the most controversial of its kind. It is rumored that Starck himself said that “it’s not meant to squeeze lemons, it is meant to start conversations”.

This makes sense from the standpoint of Alessi’s design concept that ennobles objects by merging art and poetry in them. It is no coincidence at all that his company is also known as the “Dream Factory” whose products make people’s dreams come true.

So, how do they explain such a debated object? The President of the Italian design brand said he considers Juicy Salif “a big joke to everybody”, because it goes deliberately against the idea that form must follow function.

This leads us to a “very complex theoretical explanation for the project”, he says,”The explanation has to do with what semiologists call the decorative veil.

The decorative veil is the space that always exists between the function and the design of an object. There is never a complete overlap. In this case, Philippe (Starck) exploded that little space.”

Many assert that Juicy Salif is not a practical object and does not perform its function properly, claiming it creates a disaster on the kitchen counter… and what about the seeds, by the way?

There is no device that breaks their fall inside the glass! True, but you can place a strainer just above the glass to work around this inconvenience ^_^!

Others celebrate it as an object whose form goes beyond the function. Whatever your opinion, Juicy Salif earned its own place at MoMA in New York City. That said, it means that you have a work of art in your kitchen, no matter what.


If you like it here’s where you can find Juicy Salif. Does it work? Does it not? You watched the video above: did you get your own opinion on it?

Please, share your comments and if you own a Juicy Salif let us know what your experience with it is like.

I’m looking forward to read your opinions, so come on and give a sign! I leave you with the video interview to Alberto Alessi about Philippe Stark’s Juicy Sailf:



  1. Well, I have to admit, it looks very cool. And if I wanted to just spend money or have a gift that I give to people regularly, this would fit the bill. However, since buying an RV, everything is about function. Form is not in the back seat, but in the trunk, LOL.
    But again, very cool.

  2. Thanks for sharing your opinion. CT Brown you’re damn right! I’d buy it too as a gift or as a beautiful design object for myself. I wanted to write about Juicy Salif just to talk about the thin line between form and function. I’ve been fascinated by the idea of ​​bringing to the extreme the concept of “decorative veil”, the gap between form and function and I loved that both Philippe Stark and Alessi produced it being completely aware that it was just “a joke”! It’s brave and crazy at the same time, but it was a perfect recipe for success. Weird, isn’t it? ^_^

  3. I have been wanting to get a “lemon” squeezer”. Actually I would use it for other citrus as well. This is stylish on top of it. I am curious, I don’t see a link to purchase it. Did I miss that somehow?

    1. Hey Matts, thanks for stopping by and reading my post! Actually the link is via the picture, but you’re right I should make it more visible.
      Thanks for letting me know, I’ll fix it right away ^_^

  4. The only reason I would buy that juicer is that it looks like something straight out of War of the Worlds. I would set it right in the middle of my dining room table, or my coffee table, and spend the rest of the day getting a kick out of all the looks it will be sure to get.

    1. Hello William, thank you for taking the time to read this post of mine.
      I think we all agreed on something: this Juicy Salif is more beautiful than useful ^_^

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