Decoding Design

Imagining a green American dream for Barbie

Imagining a green American dream for Barbie

Posting in Architecture

Two New York designers redesign the iconic doll's dream house to reflect modern style and environmental responsibility.

Two female designers based in New York  have won the AIA Architect Barbie Dream House competition with a high tech, low energy load design. The design competition followed the release of the Architect version of Mattel's I Can Be...Barbie line. The design team of Ting Li and Maja Paklar envision a home that reflects Barbie's newest career as an environmentally responsible and design savvy professional.

Their winning entry's roof allows for a green house, a landscaped garden, solar panels, and an eco-friendly irrigation system. The home features operable shading devices, bamboo flooring, and low flow bathroom fixtures. To exist harmoniously in its intended Malibu setting with as little disturbance to the bluff, the home is terraced. All materials and furnishings are meant to be locally sourced and manufactured. Of course the most envy-inducing gadget part of the home is the wardrobe display, a computerized moving double helix rack circling her central stair.  Even Architect Barbie needs to wear more than just black (or pink.)

Regarding their winning entry and their client, Ms. Li and Ms. Paklar state, 'We are very honored to have been chosen by AIA and Mattel as a finalist and as the public favorite - Barbie was both of ours’ favorite doll growing up in China and Croatia. We appreciate the versatility of our profession which allows us to express ourselves in a myriad of ways - from entirely built city environments to a Barbie Dream House. We hope to encourage more young female architects to flex their design muscles and just to have fun with architecture.'

Image: The American Institute of Architects

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Sun Kim

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sun Joo Kim is an architect and creative consultant based in Boston. Her projects include design and master planning of museums, public institutions, hospitals, and university buildings across the U.S. She holds a degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure