Designing Architect Barbie's Dream House

Article: Designing Architect Barbie's Dream House

The very modest first edition Dream House
The American Institute of Architecture (AIA) was actually pretty excited when the annual Barbie “I Can Be” contest (finally, and after much debate) selected architect as Barbie’s career for 2011. In fact, AIA is so excited about it they’ve already featured her in two events. The first was a talk led by a female architect for 7-9-year-old girls (Barbie’s main demographic) in order to introduce them to the idea of pursuing a career in architecture when they’re older (the girls were each given their very own Architect Barbie as a reminder). The second event is slightly, umm, dreamier – a competition for AIA members to design Barbie’s Dream House. As a former Dream House owner (Mine was a rickety plastic fold-out model for easy storage) I’m looking forward to what actual designers (sorry Mattel) come up with to accommodate Barbie’s fun, playful, entertaining-heavy lifestyle.

How to measure a green building

Article: How to measure a green building

Omega Center for Sustainable Living, Rhinebeck, NY
Yesterday was Earth Day and the blogosphere was abuzz with all the handy, dandy and most often meaningless catchphrases that abound in our newly environmentally conscious world (see, I just dropped one myself). Keep in mind that however good Earth Day is at making more people more aware of their environment (I saw a homeless man use one of his own plastic bags at a deli counter), it was invented by an ad man, just like Valentine’s Day and Secretary’s Day (now Administrative Assistant’s Day). So if you want to join in the fun of hyphenating your words with eco- and green- take a minute to learn what it really means.
Kroon Hall in Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT
Lesson 1: Architecture. The AIA (American Institute of Architecture) recently announced the Top Ten Green Buildings of 2010. But before we take a look at the winners, let’s go over the criteria: