Barbie Living Room

Barbie Living Room

BT: I think there is–the dream house was released around 1962 and it’s a cardboard house, all the of the furnishings are made of cardboard as well. The aesthetic kind of feels like a Scandinavian modern style, so Barbie’s first dream house was really a modern house. And it’s a one-room house, like a studio, with her bed and her living area all in that room. So this idea of open plans and the lack of boundaries between spaces, the permeability of the living and the dining, and the formal and the informal areas is all borne out in this dream house.
barbie living room 1

Barbie Living Room

The Dreamhouse Living Room is featured in a number of episodes, most notably Pet Peeve. It features a circular couch, flatscreen television and grand piano, and is open to the second story with a balcony overlooking the floor below. There are a number of hidden buttons in the room that can decorate it with party supplies, reveal Barbie’s frozen yogurt machine collection or provide food on demand from the coffee table.
barbie living room 2

Barbie Living Room

BT: The objects are really extraordinary. I think what’s really neat about the room is the juxtaposition of things. Like you’ll have very valuable things next to very cheap things, very foreign and exotic things next to very common things, and it was their brilliance to combine all of these very eclectic objects and create this kind of unified space. But you have a compact sofa that they designed and they lived with, you have a small, green footstool that was designed by Charles’s daughter Lucia. There is the famous painted wood crow? it’s kind of iconic and sits in the middle of the living room. As well as the bookcase, which is based on the design for the Eames Storage Unit? It’s made of very special materials. The uprights are champagne aluminum and so it’s a very special version of one of their very classic designs.
barbie living room 3

Barbie Living Room

BT: I think design has changed a lot and entirely new fields have appeared since the period of this show and the modes of manufacturing are entirely different, but I think that the driving ideas and the reasons why people came here or why people stayed here–ideas about openness and flexibility, and the ability to accomplish things without the constraints that you might face in other places–I think those are still relevant. And I think designers are still flocking here because of that. So while the conditions may have changed, some of the foundations remain the same.· Entire Eames House Living Room Being Moved Into LACMA
barbie living room 4

Barbie Living Room

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barbie living room 5

Barbie Living Room

Bobbye Tigerman: In the course of planning the exhibition, we had always hoped to show an authentic modern interior in the exhibition. And the challenge was that a lot of architecture is preserved in Los Angeles, but very rarely are buildings preserved and not changed since the sixties. So we were looking for a house that was preserved and one of the frontrunners was the Eames House, which is preserved as it was on the day that Ray Eames died in 1988. But when you look at photographs of it as early as the mid-fifties, you have the same arrangement of furniture, a lot of the same objects arrayed throughout the room.
barbie living room 6

Barbie Living Room

We sort of took a “last out, first in” approach, so we first started with taking all of the textiles–the rugs, the blankets, the pillows–because we were concerned that there was a chance that the organic material could have an infestation. So we put all the susceptible material–all of the textiles and all the books–into a giant, truck-sized freezer that would mitigate any possible infestation. We didn’t have any evidence of it, but we just wanted to be sure. We didn’t want to let that kind of material into the museum. So all of the textiles and books went first, and then we brought up the furniture, all of the small objects–there’s hundreds of small objects on all the tabletops–and then the larger pieces, like there’s an oar that hangs from the ceiling, a ladder that’s the full height of the room, and the bookcase as well–those rather big, bulky objects–and all the lamps too, all the paper lanterns.

Barbie Living Room