Designing Baltimore, One Student at a Time
Baltimore Design School is a public middle-high school that focuses on design. In the high school, students learn the basics of Fashion Design, Architecture, and Graphic Design. In the fall of 2011 the school started with grades 6 and 7, adding a new 6th grade each year. By 2016, the school will be a full 6-12 school.
We believe that all students, with good instruction and practice, can learn art and design skills while achieving high standards in their academic programs. We believe our graduates will be leading designers and architects of the future who see design as a way of thinking, problem-solving, and living a productive and rewarding life.
We are housed in what was an abandoned factory that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art educational facility in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District of Baltimore. The building itself demonstrates the power of design through exposed systems and best practices for historic renovation and adaptive reuse. The renovation created a collaborative and progressive educational environment, with art galleries, studios, classrooms, media center, fabrication facilities and computer labs.
The convergence of art and technology is creating a new world.
BDS focuses on three specific areas of design: Fashion Design, Architecture, and Graphic Design. We value student interests in drawing, making things, fashion ideas, creative problem-solving, three- dimensional ability, planning and building, and communicating visually through graphics. We love students who see problems that need new solutions, who envision possibilities, and imagine a better world.
Middle School Program: Building a Foundation in Art and Design
The middle school program is designed to build skills in three areas: two-dimensional skills including drawing, painting, and 2-D design; three-dimensional skills in constructing, building, and 3-D design; and multi-media technology learning how to use computer programs to create design. Students have the opportunity to apply these skills to projects in fashion design, architecture, and graphic design.
High School Program
The Architecture Program will include Interior and Landscape Design. Students learn freehand drawing, model building, computer-aided design (CAD), and presentation techniques for juried competitions.
In presentations, students will produce small scale conceptual models, plans, elevations, sections, axonometric and perspective drawings. Students will then translate hand drawings to computer-aided drawing. Internships with architecture firms complete the process, as students work in the professional world.
The Graphic Design Program includes web design and gaming design. Students work on iMac computers to produce graphic solutions to problems including logos, branding packages, posters, billboards, signage, packaging, web launches and gaming initiatives.
Students work in a designer-client atmosphere to develop the ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure. Internships in graphic design studios provide the opportunity to utilize the student skills in the workplace.
The Fashion Design Program includes pattern making, draping, tailoring, textile investigation, fine detailing, makeup, new accessories for functional clothing, high-design and art-to-wear.
Students study trends in the industry and are exposed to fashion professionals through workshops and seminars. Internships with fashion houses and designers will be provided for industry experience. The culminating project will be a runway show with each senior presenting an individual line.
We are led by a dedicated Board of Directors, comprised of top industry professionals, offering guidance and experience while keeping the school current with industry standards. Our principal, Dr. Melissa Patrylo, joins BDS from her previous role as Partner of Small Schools by Design, a firm she co-founded, which developed the proposal to open BDS as a transformation school. In fact, Dr. Patrylo wrote the curriculum that earned approval from the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners.
Dr. Patrylo was selected after a nationwide search. In her over three decades of service with Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, she served as a department chair, curriculum specialist, district supervisor of reading, district director, athletic coach, and assistant principal. She completed her career in Miami-Dade as the principal of the School for Advanced Studies (SAS), the district’s dual-enrollment senior high school. In her capacity as district director, Dr. Patrylo was responsible for Project PHOENIX, the district’s $35 million government grant to rebuild schools following Hurricane Andrew. Dr. Patrylo completed her undergraduate work in French and German at Bowling Green State University and holds a Master of Science degree in Reading, as well as a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership /Administration and Finance (both from the University of Miami). In 2000, she was awarded a knighthood by the government of France for more than 35 years of service to France. This award is recognized as one of France’s highest honors.
On October 8, 2014 BDS students visited the First Lady, Michelle Obama, to participate in the first-ever fashion education workshop as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative. The goal was to provide a forum for the world’s leading fashion professionals to share their personal stories and insight with promising young people who intend to pursue higher education. The First Lady spoke to the students about the importance of staying in school and getting an education for a successful career. BDS students designed dresses for the First Lady which they presented to her at the White House.