At a cocktail party filled with non-creatives, mention you're an architect and even the most ignorant layperson has some idea of what that entails. Mention you're an industrial designer and eight times out of ten you're met with blank stares.
Which explains why Mattel, in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects, announced an Architect Barbie earlier this year, but no ID Barbie. Architecture is an aspirational and glamorous field compared to our lowly profession. We realize an Industrial Designer Barbie is too much to wish for, so while we're dreaming, here are some other unsung design profession Barbies we'd like to see:
Injection Molding Expert Barbie:
She's not just made of plastic, she knows the material intimately! This Barbie looks at your designs and adds draft angles, removes undercuts with clever geometry, and adds a mass of supporting ribs, fins and flanges all while reducing sinkmarks. She puts the "pro" in "prototyping!"
Design Firm Intern Barbie:
Need a cappucino? Hard drive crashed on that last render and you need a replacement machine hauled out of storage? Gotta get these presentation boards to the FedEx before they close in fifteen minutes? Crack that whip and Intern Barbie comes a'running!
Electronics Engineer Barbie:
Industrial Designer Barbie's nemesis, whose sole purpose is to tell ID Barbie that the rectangular electronics components are never going to fit in that ridiculously swoopy-shaped housing. Although Electronics Engineer Barbie has zero drawing ability, she frequently faxes confusing monotone sketches to ID Barbie demanding these changes be integrated before the project can continue.
Junior Exhibition Designer Barbie:
It was fun looking over Senior Exhibition Designer Barbie's shoulder while she came up with that 30 x 30 two-story glass and steel exhibit design, wasn't it? Well get ready for the really fun part! Junior Exhibition Designer Barbie gets to travel to the Javits Center on a Sunday night and oversee the unpacking of the seventeen tractor trailers holding all 344 crates of material needed to assemble it. Call Ken, you're pulling a late one tonight!
Design Blogger Barbie:
Spend all day hunched over a laptop scanning hundreds of websites trying to determine what's newsworthy! Read through abstruse PR extracts and consult dictionaries to figure out what all of those oddly specific italicized German adjectives mean! And try to stay away from the booze at Design Week shindigs so you don't end up rolling around on the floor with that guy from a competing blog who keeps calling you out!