Good Design: Making Everyday Objects Extraordinary
This month, we’re celebrating all things modern design here on the blog, highlighting pieces that have made design history, new and buzzworthy introductions and the stories behind contemporary work from all over the globe. Be sure to check back all month long, and stop by The Design Event at Lumens.com, our semi-annual sale on 12+ modern design brands.
Good design amazes. It’s beautiful, mesmerizing and evokes an emotional response. It improves whatever space it’s in with its sheer presence.
But good design can go much further. It can make tasks easier and more fun to perform. And under the right circumstances, good design can completely change people’s perspectives and how they live day-to-day. Consider the wheel, the light bulb, the computer. In these cases, good design is absolutely revolutionary.
Good design constantly evolves and improves, over time eradicating the bad. A designer sees an existing product and reimagines it–with smoother lines, lighter materials, brighter colors–to make it better. Case in point, the Juicy Salif.
In 1990, Philippe Starck had only recently begun designing products for the Italian home furnishings company, Alessi. While on holiday on the Italian coast, he was inspired to reinvent that most common of kitchen objects: the juicer. He wondered, why does a juicer have to look like a juicer, anyway?
Starck was thus compelled to come up with something entirely new. He sketched his basic ideas on a napkin and handed it over to Alberto Alessi to produce (in charcteristic defiance of the company’s request for a stainless steel tray). The final piece that emerged from those initial lines and squiggles, the Juicy Salif Citrus Juicer, looks much like a spaceship or some alien creature. It’s sharp and beautiful, at once dangerous and enticing and entirely unexpected on a kitchen countertop.
If you didn’t already know what the Juicy Salif was, it could be a challenge discerning its practical use. And once you did figure it out, you’d logically assume the outcome would be a big mess, juice everywhere. However, physics plays an important role in keeping that from happening. Any juice extracted by the bulbous top is drawn down the ridges via capillary action. The fluid adheres to the body as it slides down to the narrowest point, where it flows smoothly and splatter-free into a glass placed underneath.
While there remains some debate about the functionality of the Juicy Salif over other juicers, one thing’s for certain: before the Juicy Salif, juicers never did provoke much thought.
And that’s exactly what good design does, whether it’s of modern lighting or furniture, a luxury car or a humble juicer.