Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Design: The Aliens are coming! The Aliens are coming!

Alessi “Juicy Salif” by Phillipe Starck

Photo: Ian Murchison, Flickr ccl
Photo: Wiki CC
A multidisciplinary creative force, Philippe Starck is a Parisian-born designer. His output ranges from everyday household products through to full interiors. Many feel that one such interior, for French President François Mitterand in 1982, was the project that firmly positioned him at the forefront of international design. 

According to Wikipedia, some of Starck's recent projects have been an optical mouse for Microsoft, yachts and the New Mexico "spaceport" for Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. He also appeared on a BBC Two programme where aspiring design students vied for a six-month placement at his Paris firm.

Since its design 21 years ago, the Alessi Juicy Salif, has become an icon of the New Modern style. At the time it was criticized for being impractical, but that obviously was from those who never used it. Or maybe they're like the people on infomercials that "just can't make that old product work right". I have used it. It works perfectly and is a “thing of beauty.” It now holds place of pride, not only in my home, but also in the MOMA in New York as an example of great late 20th century design.

The design, according to Alessi, was sketched out on a pizza napkin while on a seaside holiday in Italy. Visually influenced by a spider, the Juicy Salif comes in two sizes (29.5 cm tall and 11.5 cm tall) and two materials (polished aluminum and stainless steel). They aren’t cheap—most Alessi products are not—but it is well worth the investment for a high-function high-design icon. It is high function. It really works well.

Photo: LB & Roberto Sena, Flickr ccl
The full sized version in aluminum will run you $96 US, excluding shipping. The smaller one, in stainless, will set you back $45 US.

The full sized version is 29.5 cm, or 11.5 inches. Take care if purchasing online that you’re not buying the 11.5 cm one, unless that's what you want. It’s essentially a glorified toy. 

And don’t throw out your doodle drawings. Ever.
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