Tuesday22 July 2014

The Barbie dreamhouse design competition

From: News Junkie

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News Junkie has been on hiatus but returns with the happy news of an architectural competition to design a home for the world’s most famous new architect.

Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse by Jonathon Adler

Detail from Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse by Jonathon Adler

After much hype, the long awaited launch of Architect Barbie finally took place in New Orleans at the 2011 American Institute of Architects National Convention.

You may remember that BD revealed Mattels latest addition to their I Can Be… range back in February. The doll has now gone into production and will hit American shelves in August (although News Junkie has been unable to confirm a date for UK distribution) with Mattel spotlighting architecture as its ’career of the year’.

Despina Stratgiakos, the professor of architectural history at Buffalo university who campaigned with AIA New York president elect Kally Hayes McAlonie for Barbie to take on her new role, said: “For more than a century, women have chosen to become architects to express and give form to new ways of living.

“Yet some still consider architecture an unusual profession for a woman. Architect Barbie salutes the many generations of women architects and encourages young girls to imagine a better world they can design and build.”

Barbie already has more than 125 careers on her resume, so presumably completeing the seven years of education needed to qualify as a fully feldged architect was a breeze. Her career prospects are probably better than those of real women within the profession too, according to Fran Tonkiss.

But it seems she doesn’t feel that she has the experience to deisgn her own house just yet. So the AIA and Mattel have teamed up to launch the Architect Barbie Dreamhouse Design Competition which opens for submission today.

The deadline for submissions of June 27, with five finalists due to be announced on July 12 whcih will then go up for public vote to select the overall winner which will be announced in August 2. The only caveat -you must be an AIA member to take part, which seems a bit of a shame. News Junkie thinks it is highly unlikely that the RIBA will be engaging in a similar light-hearted endeavour any time soon.

Barbie herself has apparently set the brief:

“My Dream House should reflect the best sustainable design principles and also be a stylish space that I can live in comfortably.

“A sleek, smart home office is important for any doll. With more than 125 careers, I need a spacious office that can accommodate my hi-tech gadgets for meetings, client visits and presentations.

“I love to entertain so I need living and dining areas that are open and connected allowing for mingling and easy entertaining from one room to the other.

“The kitchen should be functional and fabulous with top-of-the-line appliances—large countertops and lots of space to cook. I also love natural light in my kitchen so windows are critical. I am quite the chef you know!

“As the original “fashionista,” you can imagine how large my closet needs to be! I have unlimited fashions and accessories, so I need lots of shelving, shoe racks and a closet that can be easily organized—getting ready can’t be a chore everyday.

“My dream bathroom: a large, stylish space accessible from the master bedroom and other areas.

“I love animals and I have as many as five pets (including a giraffe) around at any given time. A big backyard is very important so they can roam and play!

“As the ultimate “California girl” from Malibu, I am all about location, location, location! My house must have fantastic views of my fabulous backyard and overlook the ocean.

“I wear high heels on a daily basis, so I prefer not taking the stairs. Please consider a (pink) elevator for 2nd and/or 3rd floor access.

“The garage should be ultra-cool and have room for at least three cars.”

Find out more about how to enter here.

Lobby the AIA to extend the eligibility to RIBA members here.

And if you’re in need of further inspiration check out a ’real’ Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse, as created by interior designer Jonathon Adler, here and here.

Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse by Jonathon Adler

Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse by Jonathon Adler

Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse by Jonathon Adler

Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse by Jonathon Adler

Readers' comments (1)

  • Is this real? I'll give it to my seven year old daughter as an exercise for her to do to keep her occupied. Her ideas could stand a good chance of winning...

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