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Hello Barbie Tear Down Sessions

Posted on Dec 9, 2015 by in Projects |

Hello Barbie Tear Down Sessions

The Hello Barbie Tear Down Sessions are a series of events focusing on the Internet of Things toy, Hello Barbie. The Internet of Things is a new field focusing on physical devices that are connected to the web. Mattel has made a new Barbie doll that kids talk to. As kids talk to the toy, Hello Barbie is using web technology to process what they are saying, and then respond. In addition to Barbie’s long controversial history, the toy has raised many eyebrows from both critical and technical arenas because the toy stores children’s conversations, available for further use possibly by hackers. This event series will start many conversations about solutions for these problems, ranging from reinventing the aesthetic, to reinventing gender roles and the technologies used to make a toy like this work.

Hello Barbie Play Day is the first part in this series. The toy will be made available to the Union Community so they can play with and understand its design. The Hello Barbie Pecha Kucha Night will be a series of brief talks on a wide range of topics that affect this toy and those who use it. Hello Barbie Take Apart will give students time to take the toy apart, learning how it works. The Mold Making Session will be lead by Patrick Healy, students will learn how to remake the plastic bodies in different shapes, sizes and colors. The series will conclude with a Hello Barbie Rebuild. Students will build new toys taking into account everything they’ve learned. Continued support for students looking to develop their projects further will be available through the MakerWeb.


Hello Barbie Play Day


Wold Atrium

Come play with this toy and learn how it works in its current state.

Hello Barbie Pecha Kucha Night: 10 minute successive talks


Karp 005

5:30pm – 7pm (refreshments at 5pm)

Youth Perspectives

Girls Inc., Schenectady, NY Chapter

Underspecified versus Scripted Play — How Does Talking Barbie Compare to (Silent) Barbie?

Valerie Barr


Artists Who Have Tackled the Barbie Doll

Amanda Ervin

Makerspace Coordinator

Talking Toys: How does it work?

Kristina Striegnitz

Associate Professor

Nick Webb

Visiting Assistant Professor

I Can Be a Computer Engineer: Critical discussions about this children’s book.

Jessica Sanford

Senior, Computer Science

Blonde, Blue-Eyed, and Busty: How Barbie (Mis)represents Beauty and the Female Body

Andrea Foroughi

Associate Professor

IoT/Embedded/Industrial Security: It’s not as bad as you think… It’s worse!

Tom Yanuklis

Systems Administrator and Systems Manager – Research Computing

Hello Barbie Tear Down


Kelly Computing Lab

Wold 010 6pm-9pm
We will take the toy apart, figuring out how it works testing its boundaries, etc. Please register for this event via email to, space is limited.

Mold Making Workshop(s) with Patrick Healy


S&E N114 3pm-6pm

Patrick Healy will guide us through the mold making and plastic casting of new, custom Barbie Dolls. Space is limited, please RSVP via email to

Hello Barbie Rebuild


Kelly Computing Lab

Wold 010 6pm-9pm

We will remake this toy. Designs will be discussed and started. Makers can break apart into smaller groups with continued investment and support. Please register for this event via email to, space is limited.