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AIA Asks Architects to Design Architect Barbie's Dream House

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Pretty li'l Architect Barbie made her debut into the world back in February, but the new face in Mattel society was immediately slammed with criticism. "Her shoes are also not construction site appropriate considering she has a hard hat," cried out one Curbed commenter, while another maintained that "[t]he boots and jacket need to be much more severe and Central-European, and she should be wearing all black." It's as if these naysayers were saying that a rail-thin, perfectly coiffed blonde can't actually roll with the big boys—that she should put those blueprints down, go to a nail salon, relax with a Cosmo, and let the real men do the work.

Well luckily for her, Architect Barbie has a whole team of experts vying to design her Dream House—anyone from the American Institute of Architects who wants to enter the AIA's new competition, which kicks off today at the AIA 2011 National Convention in New Orleans. The winning design will be voted on by the public and announced in August.

Here are the official guidelines, direct from the glossy pucker of Barbie herself:

· My Dream House™ should reflect the best sustainable design principles and also be a stylish space that I can live in comfortably.
· A sleek, smart home office is important for any doll. With more than 125 careers, I need a spacious office that can accommodate my hi-tech gadgets for meetings, client visits and presentations.
· I love to entertain so I need living and dining areas that are open and connected allowing for mingling and easy entertaining from one room to the other.
· The kitchen should be functional and fabulous with top-of-the-line appliances—large countertops and lots of space to cook. I also love natural light in my kitchen so windows are critical. I am quite the chef you know!
· As the original “fashionista,” you can imagine how large my closet needs to be! I have unlimited fashions and accessories, so I need lots of shelving, shoe racks and a closet that can be easily organized—getting ready can’t be a chore every day.
· My dream bathroom: a large, stylish space accessible from the master bedroom and other areas.
· I love animals and I have as many as five pets (including a giraffe) around at any given time. A big backyard is very important so they can roam and play!

· As the ultimate “California girl” from Malibu, I am all about location, location, location! My house must have fantastic views of my fabulous backyard and overlook the ocean. A woman who knows what she wants—how rare! And a client who knows what she wants—even rarer! This sounds like a dream project for any architect who chooses to throw the hat into the ring. Will there be lots of pink? Garage space to store that Corvette? Separate quarters for the dogs? Only time will tell.

· Please Welcome Architect Barbie to the Mattel Dancefloor [Curbed National]
· 2011 National Convention [AIA]