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Architect Barbie®

Wednesday 03 Aug 2011

Sleek new home for Architect Barbie®

Architect Barbie® by WAN Editorial
All images: Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP and Maja Paklar, Assoc. AIA 
Architect Barbie® by WAN Editorial Architect Barbie® by WAN Editorial Architect Barbie® by WAN Editorial Architect Barbie® by WAN Editorial
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03/08/11 Frederick C. Watts, AIA LEED AP, Pittsburgh, PA
In the past women have had to deal with so called glass ceilings. Here Architect Barbie seems to have prevented not climbing, but descending having created her own glass wall across her stair to the street. Not to worry. Though it prevents her from getting out and she may be trapped forever in her home, never to get to her scooter, she has her own needs met within: her garden, her library.... Like the rest of us she now has virtual access to the world.
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Inventive design duo wins AIA Architect Barbie® Dream House™ Design Competition 

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP and Maja Paklar, Assoc. AIA as winners of its recent competition to design a home for the new Architect Barbie®, the latest recruit to Mattel’s I Can Be…™ range which looks to inspire young girls to consider various careers when they grow up. As part of the campaign, Despina Stratigakos, Assoc. AIA and Kelly Hayes McAloine, AIA, LEED AP hosted an interactive workshop for young girls at the AIA National Convention in New Orleans in May to further push architecture as a potential career choice later in life. Hayes McAloine explains: “We designed the workshops to provide the girls with a basic understanding of the role of an architect, the history of women in the architectural profession and a short charette that exposed them to the design process.”

With 8,470 public votes Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEEP AP and Maja Paklar, Assoc. AIA were clear winners of the competition, their feminine concept encapsulating the essence of an ambitious and skilled Architect Barbie®. It is clear that a message of sustainability was key in the team’s design approach, as the final design boasts solar panels, operable shading devices, low flow bathroom fixtures, energy saving light fixtures, and efficient HVAC equipment. In muted tones of grey with pink-tinted perforated shading screens, the five storey abode cantilevers over a bluff and is denied a parking garage as ‘Barbie opts to ride her Pink Vespa around town in order to reduce CO2 emissions’. Central to the concept is a spiralling double helix closet system which brings Barbie an outfit her choice at the push of a button.

Despite the influential undertones of the competition, the triumphant team have clearly had fun on the design, indulging unequivocally in the World of Architect Barbie®. The design proposal details: “Naturally the newly minted Architect Barbie® took on the task of designing her own dream house. She is creative, fashionable, busy and powerful. Although she is an internationally renowned globe trotter, when not traveling she loves to look smart, entertain her potential clients, and come up with innovative ideas in her high tech, low energy consumption home. The concept of this house reflects exactly who Barbie is in her new profession. She has pledged to build an environmentally sustainable home using the principals set forth by USGBC as well as to stay true to all the needs of a classic California girl!”

Sian Disson
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Competition win
Value 0(m€)
WAN Editorial

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