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The timing is a bit awkward for Mattel and the American Institute of Architects, or perhaps appropriate – many in the field are frustrated by the lack of employment during this economic downturn. But Barbie still smiles, as she always does.

In conjunction with the release of this curious new designer-themed doll, the AIA is also hosting a Dream House competition – in addition to the pink prop miniature home included with purchase.

As the professional-variety Barbies do, this one comes with other tools of the trade, including a set of blueprints and a hardhat plus the ever-popular thick black glasses anyone in the industry should be familiar with.

High heals may be a bit tough when out surveying a site, however, and some of the Dream Home criteria seem overly fabulous for this post-housing-boom, but perhaps this is all a bit too cynical an analysis for a childrens’ toy.