Eavesdrop NY 04

Monday, March 8, 2010

Will we ever see an Architect Barbie? (Courtesy Buffalo News)

With either mock or earnest outrage (hard to tell), Charles Linn, deputy editor of Architectural Record, alerted Eavesdrop to an injustice that’s resonating throughout the profession. Barbie will never be an architect. It’s true, a lot of dolls aren’t architects, presumably by choice, but Barbie has, for all intents and purposes, been banned from three years of sleepless, pore-clogging charrettes and humiliating juries. Here’s what happened. Mattel, Barbie’s baby daddy, had an online contest called “I Can Be” to determine the next Career Barbie. Voters were asked to choose from a list of five nominees: environmentalist, surgeon, news anchor, computer engineer, and architect. And the winners are: news anchor and computer engineer.

Really? Architect Barbie is the Susan Lucci of Mattel—so many nominations without a win. Apparently the fix was in back in 2002, when Architect Barbie beat out Librarian Barbie and Police Officer Barbie. Then, in an assault on democracy, Mattel annulled the contest, declining to produce the winner, claiming that the architectural profession was too complex for young girls to comprehend. Eavesdrop is shocked and saddened that there won’t be any tiny Jil Sander suits to buy. Barbie-advocate Linn has taken up the cause on the Record blog, but Eavesdrop is more curious about that worthless Ken. We can see him suited up nicely in orange, indicted in a bid-rigging scheme.

The museum under construction. (Courtesy ArchiThings)

Is it any surprise that Germans do not like Daniel Libeskind’s design for the recreation of the Dresden Military Museum? Apparently, a majority of citizens want the city’s historical buildings returned to their pre-WWII glory, before Allied bombers incinerated it. Libeskind’s dramatic intervention—a multistoried arrow slamming through the old arsenal that houses the museum and exploding out through the original facade like a giant shiv—has created its own firestorm, so to speak. Libeskind’s defense: “It creates a question mark about the
continuity of history and what it means.” Eavesdrop’s response: It could put somebody’s eye out.

Send Bob the Builder lunch boxes to eavesdrop@archpaper.com

10 Responses to “Eavesdrop NY 04”

  1. Shen says:

    Re: Libeskind’s flippant statement: ““It creates a question mark about the
    continuity of history and what it means.”

    Or, rather, “It (the design), creates a question mark about Libeskind’s logic and what – if anything – anything he ever says means.”

  2. Mike says:

    LOL @ Shen’s comment

  3. Karl says:

    So the Germans don’t like Libeskind’s work. It’s getting so NO-ONE likes Libeskind’s ridiculous work. Why should the Germans feel any different.

  4. Darren says:

    Pity about Mattel’s shortsighted decision. Even the inanimate, plastic Architect Barbie would have been a better choice for the Dresden Military Museum than Daniel Libeskind and his crew of city-destroying CAD monkies.

  5. matt says:

    Libeskind ‘style’ creates space that causes those who visit his creations to become physically ill. His artisitic expression is that of his ego and not for the benefit of those for which the structures are built. They look like sculpture from the outside but inefficient and appalling from within. He represents the epitomy of the Starchitect.

  6. Adrian says:

    Libeskind’s dumbed-down brutalistic aesthetic (e.g. Dresden, Toronto’s ROM, London’s V&A) frequently involves a savage act of cultural vandalism on traditional architecture much, much better than he can ever hope to devise. In that regard he behaves like a primitive savage who, when confronted by the concept of beauty, can only respond by trying to destroy it. – Alongside Daniel Libeskind even Albert Speer can seem like a noble and civilized designer.

  7. Debra says:

    Once again, Libeskind has come up with an act of architectural vandalism. It’s like the only way he can get attention is by being obnoxious. His “turd in the punchbowl” approach to design might get him some sensationalist media coverage but for the rest of the world he and his work are both getting extremely tiring.

  8. Shania says:

    Maybe Mattel should make and sell Libeskind voodoo dolls. It would probably be a big seller in Dresden where people could stick pins in Libeskind’s head and light matches under his toes.

  9. Tai Wen says:

    According to Libeskind, this Dresden Museum is creating “a space for reflection about organized violence” and that this design “opens up vistas to central anthropological questioning”. Different city … same old half-assed bullshit from the little guy. He’s ridiculous. Pathetic.

  10. Caleb says:

    The Dresden design is just awful. Sometimes I think Libeskind has done more damage to cities than Hitler.

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