MISSION AND PHILOSOPHY
Baltimore Design School educates its graduates to see design as a way of living an ethical, productive, and rewarding life and to be prepared for admission to colleges and careers in a variety of design fields.
The driving force of the Baltimore Design School is to develop creativity and critical thinking skills for Baltimore City students. BDS cultivates students who see problems that need new solutions, who envision possibilities, and who imagine a better world. It believes that all students, with good instruction and practice, can learn that design is a process of defining a problem, exploring options, using judgment, articulating a solution, assembling resources, and growing from the experience.
By integrating design thinking into every aspect of the curriculum, BDS transforms students into skilled, creative, innovative young designers. BDS fosters a caring community that is dedicated to everyone’s success.
HISTORY AND RATIONALE
For nearly a decade, Maryland State Senator Catherine Pugh envisioned a high school in Baltimore where students could learn fashion design.
Working with MICA President Fred Lazarus, Baltimore architect Steve Ziger, and others who shared her vision, the concept evolved into a new middle and high school focused on Fashion Design, Architectural Design, and Graphic Design. The proposal for the Baltimore Design School was approved by the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, the BDS Board was expanded to include a range of community leaders, and the school opened with sixth and seventh grades in the fall of 2011.
A driving force in creating the school was the desire to develop and enhance creativity and critical thinking skills in our city’s students. Evidence over the past 20-years shows that the amount of creativity in high school graduates has steadily dropped. BDS not only teaches basic art and communication skills, but engages students in how to problem solve, look at solutions, and think critically. Students learn that design is a process of defining a problem, exploring options, using judgment, articulating a solution, assembling resources, implementing, evaluating, and growing from the experience. This way of thinking is applicable across disciplines. Design thinking is empowering at all levels.