Baltimore Bauhaus

A school committed to transforming Baltimore's neighborhoods through youth empowerment and project-based learning.

Contact: Deane Nettles

Why I created this project

I am a graphic designer with an MFA in Integrated Design from the University of Baltimore and a graphic and web design adjunct instructor at area colleges and universities — teaching creativity, mental flexibility, and hand skills to aspiring graphic designers.

My father used to build things in the wood shop in the basement, and my mother and father together used to rehab houses, build fences, and make repairs around the house. From their example and from shop class in junior high I learned how to use tools and not to be afraid to fix and make things. Trial and error, success and failure, friends and the Internet have taught me many other skills.

Ten years ago, I moved to Baltimore and bought a wonderful old row house, which forced me to learn a whole lot of new skills. Out of this I realized that a house is just four walls and a roof, and that inside those walls anything is possible. (And outside those walls too, if there's enough money and property.)

What inspired this project was driving down North Avenue and noticing how many homes were in good shape but have minor things wrong — a shingle here, a sagging porch roof there — that would be inexpensive to fix now, but could easily lead to their being abandoned. And how many houses were boarded up but in good shape, and how easy it would be to make them livable again.

If you have a home in need of repair, look at Maryland Department of Housing and Community Developent / Loan and Grant Programs for Home Repair and Improvements.

— Deane Nettles