AIA Works in Architect Barbie into Annual Conference, Launches ‘Dream House’ Design Competition

Earlier this year, you might recall, that after years of failed attempts, Architect Barbie finally became a reality, as Mattel decided to give the famous doll her long-awaited degree in architecture for the product’s annual “I Can Be” series. How much did this decision please the American Institute of Architects? Well, beyond being hired on as consultants for Architect Barbie, they even went so far as to include her in two separate events within their annual national convention, which was held this past weekend in New Orleans. One, entitled simply “Barbie I Can Be…Architect,” which perhaps isn’t the finest grammatical structure (up next for Barbe: English major), invited the Barbie target audience, girls 7 to 9 years old, to come to attend a 45-minute workshop with a practicing female architect. Not only would they be introduced to the profession with a quick primer on the job, but they walked out with a complimentary Architect Barbie just for showing up. For the second event, the AIA has asked its members to design Barbie’s new Dream House. Barbie herself has laid out the ground rules of the competition on the AIA’s site, demanding things like that the “living and dining areas…are open and connected allowing for mingling and easy entertaining from one room to the other” and that the “kitchen should be functional and fabulous with top-of-the-line appliances.” We also loved the first sentence of the contest’s introduction: “Two important things to know: Barbie loves to PLAY and have FUN.” Duly noted. If you’re an AIA member and would like to participate, here are all the details. You have until today to put you name in and then until June 27th to submit your final Dream House designs. Later this summer, the AIA will open the competition up to public voting and a winner will be announced on August 2nd.

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