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An Immersive Barbieland for Zara

To celebrate Zara’s latest collaboration with Barbie and Barbie: The Movie, we were commissioned to dream up an immersive space for the launch of the collection in the brand’s Paris and New York flagship stores.

Our take on the ‘Barbie Dreamhouse’ – a symbolic architecture that has been reimagined throughout the doll’s 60 year lifespan, evolving and adapting to a shifting cultural landscape – extends the universe of the new Barbie film into a human-scale set. 

Drawing on the design language, malleability and function of a dollhouse, the pop-up unfolds in whichever space it is placed in. The spatial layout of ‘Barbieland’ hinges on the location of the installation which is at the entrance of each store.

Stepping off the busy city street and away from reality, visitors follow the yellow brick road of the house’s front yard into a fantasy dreamworld fashioned out of signature pink. The modular architecture, assembled to suit each store’s layout like in a game, references the analogue tactility of a toy to create Barbie’s giant walk-in closet – complete with a life-size fitting room.

The collection is displayed within these units extended by life-size stickers that are fixed behind the real products, echoing the design of a Barbie box and gesturing towards textures and patterns drawn from the film. A vending machine invites visitors to interact, turning a wheel to rotate the shelves of products. 

Extending the play between real and fake, the space also gestures beyond the house to the outside world of Barbieland through a series of screens that frame digital scenes  – generated using Unreal – visitors get a glimpse of the neighbourhood and the wider surroundings of the house.

Mirroring the logic of Barbie’s fantasy universe as it exists in the products and film, each scene is static, with only a mere hint of movement in the form of a sun that gradually moves over the scene, casting shadows over the artificial landscape.

As of Christmas 2023, our Barbieland has found a new lease of life at the Torrecárdenas Hospital in Almería. Popping up in the Maternal and Pediatric Emergency room – this time for good – the modular installation has transformed the space into Barbie’s fantasy, signature pink dreamworld for patients under the age of 15 to enjoy and explore whilst they wait to see the doctor. Barbieland's permanent relocation from its first home at the Zara Parisian flagship at the Champs Elysées was made possible by Inditex, in collaboration with Amancio Ortega Foundation and Juegaterapia.

Creative Direction, Art Direction, Spatial Design, 3D Design
Ophélie Maurus, Joppe Rog – Photography Ouvrage – Production Partner Paris

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