Earlier this year, architecture critic Alexandra Lange waxed poetic about the sheer ridiculousness of Architect Barbie, calling the overly pink doll with an "outdated hot-pink blueprint tube" and "skyline-print dress" yet another gender-specific toy that might "narrow girls' play to what manufacturers think they already like: playing house, not building one." The piece, which ran in Dwell, was a solid takedown of the toy, which Mattel released last year only to send a bunch of actual architects into a tizzy in a shared quest to redesign the good lady's Dream House.
Now the magazine has found a well-spoken commentator on the issue in the form of an 8-year-old reader whose note is published in this month's Letters column. "If you're going to send a girl an Architect Barbie," Olivia Steger emailed in, "then you should send something about architecture with it so that she knows what that doll means." Steger suggests Lego blocks, a book ("like You Can Be a Woman Architect"), or "Architecto, a game where you have to figure out what blocks are used to make the models on the cards." The kid goes on to reference Frank Lloyd Wright; read the full letter below.