Alessi - Juicy Salif

Alessi and the “Juicy Salif” citrus squeezer by Philippe Starck Alessi is celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of an iconic object for the design world: the “Juicy Salif” citrus squeezer, designed by Philippe Starckin 1990. This hugely successful project, as its creator envisaged, not only squeezes lemons but also stimulates conversation. Since its launch, the “Juicy Salif” has generated discussion about its nature and meaning.

An internationally recognised icon that belongs to the permanent exhibitions of numerous museums worldwide, from the MoMA in New York to the Centre Georges Pompidouin Paris, the “Juicy Salif” has appeared on social media in countless guises such is its ability to capture the imagination of the public. For the company, it represents an excellent exampleof its role as an artistic mediator in the most turbulent areas of creative potential.

Alberto Alessi, President of Alessi SpA, says that “a true design masterpiece must be able to move, to convey feelings, evoke memories, surprise, break the rules… more precisely, it must make us feel that weare living our lives. In other words, it must be poetic”. The project’s origins have been well-documented: Alberto Alessi wanted to enrich the catalogue with a tray, a historic Alessi product type that had been part of the company’s collection since its foundation in 1921. In particular, he was interested to see how the French designer interpreted this particular product, but for some time received no word from him. Months went by until one day an envelope from the Italian island of Capraia landed on his desk. Inside he found a paper napkin from a restaurant upon which Philippe Starck had drawn sketches for a new citrus squeezer. Starck had been holidaying with his family on the island and was squeezing a lemon over his plate of squid when the shape of this mollusc provided him with the inspiration for the creation of the “Juicy Salif”.

With regards to thisunusual beginning, Alberto Alessi emphasises: “I want to underline that, in the end, we should not be concerned by the fact that the inspiration that finally came to the designer was not consistent with the original briefing as the Juicy Salif went on to become the most controversial citrus-squeezer ofthe 20th century and remains one of the most playful, intelligent and provocative objects in theAlessi collection”.

To celebrate the anniversary of the “Juicy Salif” citrus-squeezer, two special editionshave been released: one in cast aluminium with an opaque white ceramic coating, and the other a limited edition in cast bronze.

“Twenty-five years without squeezing a lemon”is the title of the special publication by Michele Cogo, an author, scriptwriter and television writer from Bologna who has studied narrative and visual semiotics for 20 years. The publication will be distributed to mark the launch of the two commemorative editions. The magazine recounts the interesting studies conducted on the citrus squeezer in 1998 during a degree course in Communications Science at the University of Bologna in the presence of Umberto Eco, and summarises partof the enormous quantity of material that has been collected on the "Juicy Salif”, including publications, graphic reproductions, online images and journalistic articles.