You might recall hearing that since 2002, there’s been a concerted effort to make architecture a career that Barbie finally would accept. Despite winning that year’s annual “I Can Be” contest, toy manufacturer Mattel supposedly decided that the business of building didn’t fit within the iconic doll’s range and axed it. Last year, the fight raged again and it seemed like an Architect Barbie might finally be a possibility. But sadly, it was not to be, and instead she went into computer engineering and news anchoring. However, as glum as last year was for those pushing for her career path, it looks as though the efforts have paid off. Rita Catinella at Architectural Record broke the story that 2011 is the year the world will finally see Barbie as an architect. Now, along with previous years’ winners of Dolphin Trainer, Chef, and Pet Vet, the disproportionate, iconic blond will be designing buildings right along side all those other disproportionate blond icons, like Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid. The doll will be available sometime this fall and has already appeared on Target’s website for pre-order. What’s most surprising/optimistic about all of this finally happening, is that Mattel even reached out to the AIA. Here’s a bit from Catinella’s report:
According to the AIA, they did not partner with Mattel on the doll, but two AIA members from upstate New York were part of the conversation with the company. The organization is supportive of the concept however. According to Matt Tinder, Media Relations, AIA, “We’re pleased that a new generation of young people have an opportunity to imagine becoming an architect. We believe the Barbie I Can Be… Architect will help inspire a new generation of young people to consider the profession of architecture.”
That doesn’t really indicate how much the AIA contributed, but we’re hoping it’s more than just “so what’s the perfect kind of black-rimmed glasses for an architect to wear?” because of course Architect Barbie has them.