Starck and Alessi make peace over Roland Kreiter’s ‘mysqueeze’ lemon squeezer

Could this new citrus squeezer mark the start of a new alliance between Philippe Starck and Alberto Alessi?

This year is the 20th anniversary of Philippe Starck’s controversial ‘Juicy Salif’ lemon squeezer, which set tongues wagging back in 1990 by defying the basic rule of design which states that, if an object has to perform a certain function, then its design must support that function as best it can.

Search for the perfect furniture with The Independent house and home database, powered by mydeco

Designed by Starck on the back of a napkin while eating a dish of squid and squeezing a lemon over it, the Juicy Salif lemon squeezer looks more like an alien than a kitchen accessory and is ill-equipped for its apparent function, which is to squeeze lemons (the juice is said to go everywhere). As a result, it has often been criticised as having more style than substance.

But this matters little. Over the years, the design has sold around the world as an avant-garde status symbol, particularly popular on the wedding lists of young, middle-class professionals. Starck himself is rumoured to have said, “My juicer is not meant to squeeze lemons; it is meant to start conversations,” and this it has done with great success.

Manufactured by Italian kitchenware company, Alessi, the Juicy Salif lemon squeezer continues to be one of Alessi’s (and indeed Starck’s) most talked about products, prompting endless discussions about the design’s meaning and whether indeed form should always follow function.

But the ride between designer and manufacturer has not been as smooth as one might imagine. On the Juicy Salif’s 10th anniversary, Alessi launched 10,000 limited edition, individually numbered and gold plated versions of the design as a way of celebrating its success. While the citric acid in the lemon was said to discolour and erode this gold-plated version forcing it to become strictly ornamental, Starck professed to hate the whole idea (which he said was done without his agreement) so much that he stopped working with Alessi.

The cooling period has been a long one. But, as the Juicy Salif celebrates its 20th anniversary, these two great collaborators have, once again, found some common ground.

This has come in the form of another lemon squeezer, the mysqueeze (£33), which, this month, went on sale exclusively in the UK at as part of Alessi’s ‘Objets Bijoux’ collection. Designed by Roland Kreiter and manufactured by Alessi, the mysqueeze is the result of a competition, run by mydeco and judged by Philippe Starck, to find a young designer who could design an item to be made using 3D printing processes.

“As many people will have noticed, it's been a few years now since Alessi presented any new projects by Philippe Starck,” comments Alberto Alessi, Managing Director of Alessi. “Not to worry: both of us are obviously going through a period where it's hard to find the same harmony that at other times has allowed us to create truly extraordinary objects. So in this context I was surprised to get a call from Philippe in the summer of 2009. He wanted to tell me that, as a juror in a competition held by mydeco, he had awarded a project by a young German designer, Roland Kreiter, which he thought deserved to be produced. This seemed to me like a worthy tribute to ‘Juicy Salif’, the most controversial citrus-squeezer of the twentieth century.”

And a worthy tribute it is. Made from stainless steel, the mysqueeze is designed in an innovative torpedo shape that prizes form and function by allowing both sides to be used at once, while maintaining a sleek and contemporary aesthetic. Kreiter remains a little shell-shocked by his success. "To create something that is being compared to Starck’s Juicy Salif, and for it to not only lead to my dream job but also reignite the collaboration between Starck and Alessi, has been remarkable,” he says “I will need some time to realise what just happened.” As for Starck and Alessi? Let’s hope that this is just the start of a new and long alliance.

Emily Jenkinson is interiors writer for furniture and interior design website

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine