How Barbie Continues Inspiring Us All Even If She Can't Stand Up. If you Loved Barbie's Dream House, Check Out Barbie's Green House.

How Barbie Continues Inspiring Us All Even If She Can't Stand Up.  If you Loved Barbie's Dream House, Check Out Barbie's Green House. 

I think Barbie has gotten a bad rap, don't you?  Sure, if she were real, she would be 6 feet tall, weigh 101 pounds and have a 19" waist and she probably couldn't stand up but so what?  Think of the inspiration she provides to girls, and dare I say women, worldwide. I, for one, never sat around as a little girl playing with my Barbie dolls, thinking to myself, "I will never be as beautiful as Barbie".  Honestly, Barbie served only to be inspirational to me.  Okay I am lying.  There was one thing that about Barbie's world that did warp me.  More than anything else, I wanted more Barbie's Dream House!

But my mother and father deprived me of that joy.

Still, for the last 14 years, I have happily had Barbie's overflowing from every corner of my home.  Even today, my youngest, bathes with a half dozen (or more) Barbie's floating, swimming and otherwise going on adventures with her in the tub and out of the tub to places known only to her imagination.  You see what Barbie really represents, for my daughters and for daughters throughout the world, are the infinite possibilities that every little girl's future holds.  Barbie doesn't give little girls a negative self image, she gives girls inspiration. 

I bet you didn't know that Barbie has more than 125 careers on her resume.  How is that for inspiration?  Each year Mattel works to add to that impressive number by creating new roles for her that are both aspirational and culturally relevant. 

This year Mattel is putting the spotlight on architecture as its "Career of the Year" for Barbie.  As is the Barbie tradition, Mattel hopes to educate and encourage girls to consider the field of architecture when thinking about what they will be when they grow up.  As a part of their push to help promote architecture and their new Architect Barbie Doll, Mattel collaborated with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for their Architect Barbie Dream House competition.  The winning design, voted tops by the public, was submitted by the stunning team of Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP (and Maja Paklar, Assoc. AIA. 

“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."
The concept of this house reflects exactly who Barbie is in her new profession. She has pledged to build an environmentally sustainable home using the principals set forth by USGBC (The US Green Building Council) as well as to stay true to all the needs of a classic California girl!  As a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified designer, Barbie is on a mission to set an inspirational example to green girls everywhere to consider sustainability wherever possible.

Barbie’s dream house is the quintessential Malibu beach house; it is modern, functional, spacious, fun and most of all sustainable.  Naturally the newly minted Architect Barbie took on the task of designing her own dream house. She is creative, fashionable, busy and powerful. She has gone through years of training to become a leading figure in her field. She is LEED AP and a member of the AIA (American Institute of Architects). Although she is an internationally renowned globe trotter, when she's not jet setting, she loves to look smart, entertain her potential clients, and come up with innovative ideas in her high tech, low energy consumption home.

Her house proudly utilizes solar panels, operable shading devices, low flow bathroom fixtures, energy saving light fixtures, and efficient HVAC equipment.   Barbie landscapes her yard, roof and terraces for cooling and visual effects. And of course, in order to reduce CO2 emissions, Barbie opts to ride her Pink Vespa around town instead of her hot pink, gas-guzzling convertible.  If she needs to haul her reusable shopping bags to her green home, Ken is never far behind in his custom, electric convertible.

In another nod to sustainability, the house occupies a minimum footprint as it dramatically cantilevers over a bluff.
Barbie's green home is situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The entrance faces north-west and the main body of the building has a panoramic view of the ocean. Distinct building programs are specific to each floor, connected by a center core of spiral stairs. The stairs rise around a hollow tube, which becomes Barbie’s tower closet. Since Barbie is the original fashionista, she inevitably accumulated a large volume of enviable designer labels. Barbie's computer controlled closet allows for the clothes to be displayed and visible from every angle of the house.  It also makes dressing easy as she can select her outfit, push a button, and the outfit is delivered to her bedrom via the double helix moving rack. 

The house features 1500sf of entertaining space and boasts a chef’s open kitchen on the first floor, a Steven Jobs approved office/library/meeting space as well as 500sf of terrace on the second floor.  I can just imagine the amazing panoramic views of the ocean and mountains.  The third and fourth floors are Barbie’s private getaway consisting of her bedroom and (of course) an inspiration.  Who else besides me wants to see the inspiration room?

Yet sadly, following in the footsteps of their mother's decades-old Barbie Dream House letdown, my girls won't ever play with  Barbie's green house as Barbie's green home will never make it to production.  Instead, a $1000 donation will be made in the winning designers' names to CHAD, a charter high school in Philadelphia focused on architecture and design. Very nice. Very inspirational.  Once again, Barbie is providing inspiration to me and girlies of all ages, all over the world.  Throughout so many different challenges that life brings, Barbie is always there for us - giving inspiration in so many ways.

The other day a family in our community was met with near devastation as their home was consumed by fire.  Thanks to the high school orchestra director, our PTSA and an amazing community of parents, administrators, teachers and students, the word is getting out and emails are flying as so many work to fulfill as many of the family's needs as possible.  Tears came to my eyes as I read the following words in an email from our orchestra director, " The younger sister had a collection of Barbie Dolls and has now lost them all."  And then later from our PTSA president, "sister is sad because she lost all her toys. (Barbie’s),,,perhaps some nice things for the girls that will make them feel better, ie toys and Barbie's for the little one...".   Barbie is always inspirational even if she can't stand up.  Nothing ever keeps her down.

P.S.- I am really glad that you stopped by our Environmental Booty Blog and I hope you have learned or shared a thing or two. I hope that , now that you've found us, you won't lose us! You can "Like" us on our new Facebook fanpage, join our green living online community, subscribe to our posts, download our community toolbar or Tweet with me on Twitter to stay in touch! - Shane*

Sources: MattelAIA Huffington Post

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