Architect Barbie and Lego too (Not a thought for Friday)

Architect BarbieIt’s been a busy week. I’m building a new website and trying to get my head around new software as well as the work we have on at the moment in the studio. So blogging is being pushed to the end of the ‘to do’ list just now. Normally I would do a ‘Thought for Friday’ but this post just doesn’t really fit in that category and I wanted to post this today as I may not get the chance if I leave it.

I came across two very interesting articles on architecture and toys. The first, as you can see features Barbie, but perhaps not as you may have known her in the past for this is ‘Architect Barbie’. The full story is over on Design Observer where Despina Stratigakos, an architectural historian and professor in the architecture department at the State University of New York at Buffalo has written a very interesting piece on how Architect Barbie came to be.

This is from her article:

One of the most poignant findings of a 2003 study by the Royal Institute of British Architects on the loss of women in architectural practice is that women make this choice reluctantly: they love architecture and don’t want to go.  

The fact is that Barbie appeals to little girls like no other toy. They are proprietary about her — they know the doll is just for them. And whatever Barbie does, she brings it into the sphere of women. She has the power to make things seem natural to little girls. Admittedly, Architect Barbie can’t do all the work. Deeply held attitudes about women must shift before architecture becomes a profession that truly embraces diversity.

Then over on Design Week I find another item devoted to architecture but this time Lego architecture.

Lego has long lead the way in plastic brick products. The expandability of the products are brilliant. The numerous themes and tie-ins are endless. My faves are “City,” a collection of urban professionals going about their business (like you and me), and “fishing Boat,” a high tech plastic sea faring craft (fish excluded). Now Lego has released its new progressive architecture line, including the Guggenheim Musuem and Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright, Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Burj Khalifa in Dubai developed by Emaar Properties.

Farnsworth House Lego

Farnsworth House Lego

Now when are we going to get some toys based on Graphic Design? How about Play Doh typography? If anyone has ideas post them to me.



Filed under Architecture

2 responses to “Architect Barbie and Lego too (Not a thought for Friday)

  1. I want to make some excellent point about the power of Barbie but nothing comes to mind, however while in Prague recently I went tova toy museum that had a stunning collection of Barbie in all sorts of stunning positions and as all sorts if amazing historical characters (they are somewhere in my Flickr sets). The interesting thing is the architectural series from Lego, I’m not sure i see the value, surely the idea of Lego was a that we could all go away and be a Gehry or Lloyd Wright? I admit if they did a Bauhaus series I would consider a purchase or three but I loved making things out of Lego, creating impossible towers and developing the most complex of ideas all made in plastic bricks! However, typodoh … Now there is a product that needs to come to market, would we get Gill Sans cut outs? oooo, I’m excited about this

  2. I’ll have to talk to Hasbro…

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