We think we’ve made it perfectly clear in the past that there are a lot of things we don’t know about Barbie. We know it was the doll’s birthday last year and she can get Jonathan Adler to design her Malibu Dreamhouse, but that’s about it. So it was interesting to read about a controversy surrounding the iconic toy coming out of Buffalo, New York. Story goes, according to the Buffalo News, is that a 2002 competition called “I Can Be,” which asked the public to select the next career-themed edition of the toy. But when “Architect” won, “Mattel balked at producing an architect doll.” Now that the company has launched another similar contest eight years later, architecture professor Despina Stratigakos has kicked off a campaign to finally give architecture its due. Here’s a bit:
“This is a powerful icon, and it does speak to little girls,” said Stratigakos, an assistant professor in [University of Buffalo]’s School of Architecture and Planning. “We need role models.”
Architect, environmentalist, surgeon, news anchor and computer engineer are the five jobs voters can pick from in the contest, which runs through Wednesday at www.barbie.com/vote. “An architect designs buildings and makes sure they’re safe, sturdy and cool-looking,” the job description reads on the contest Web site.