December 12, 2023 / BAF News and Notices

Design Enthusiast’s Holiday Gift Guide


Design Diversions – for the off-the-clock architect

Resident architects and urban sketch enthusiasts, BaltimoreSketchworks, recommend these products for sketching on the go: Caran d’Ache waterbrush, Lamy Vista nib fountain pens, and Moleskine sketchbooks.

Know someone who journals (or intends to start Jan 1)? The founder of Drama MaMa Bookshop Journals wants users of her journals to actualize their goals and dreams and to feel motivated and healed in some way. We’re partial to the rowhouse journals.

Co-Lab Books offers a well curated selection of art, architecture and design books, including books on city living, handmade crafts and beautiful books for children.

Why say pink when you can say bubblegum, salmon, or tea rose? Everyone envisions colors in a different way, which makes Hues & Cues: A Guessing Game of Colors and Clues even more exciting. This fun group party activity challenges players to use one- or two-word cues to describe specific hues from the whopping 480 shades on the board.

Kids – gifts for the future architect

Artwork and text by BAF board member Kevin Miller, Alphabet for Architects is a children’s book exploring the alphabet, architecture, geography and the imagination. Kids will love the colorful images and adults will appreciate the emphasis on diverse representation.

Baltimore-based Fly Nerd Apparel thinks uniqueness is a superpower! A “fly nerd” is someone who embraces their weirdness and quirks. They are confident in who they are and what they like despite what others may think. Wear it proudly!

Urban Wild is a coloring & activity book developed by Baltimore-based architectural illustrator-turned herbalist Alyssa Denis that engages adults and children alike in the spaces between buildings. This book provides a platform for observing and connecting to the natural rhythms and cycles of our urban environment.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t add the OG building sets to the list for the design-minded teen on your list. Check out Lego Sets for architectural wonders of the world. Co_Lab Books has options for younger kiddos.

Homegoods – for a designed dwelling

If you missed her this weekend at Holiday Heap, Pittsburgh-based preservationist turned woodworker Hanna Dausch still has finely crafted ornaments, candlesticks, and vases available that exhibit her trademark smooth curves and distinct detailing.

A collaboration between Made in Baltimore and KSM Candle Co. finally solves the mystery of ‘what does Mulberry Street smell like?’ Neighborhood Candles come in three scents that pay homage to different areas of the city.

Who needs a tea towel? Who doesn’t need a tea towel? No one. And the best ones, IMHO, are the ones that are locally made by Tiny Dog Press and feature Charm City landmarks like the Patterson Park Pagoda and the Abell Avenue Painted Ladies.

Why compartmentalize a love of houseplants and love for Charm City? Enter the Pot Guy’s 3D printed rowhouse plant pot, available in a variety of styles (swell front, Italianate, porchfront) and colors.


Apparel & Accessories – for the sartorial designer

With names like Scaffold, T-square, and Balustrade, Hampden-based metalsmith Hilary Hachey’s works are hand-crafted and speak to the minimalist architect or design lover.

Voted the best luxury black t-shirt by NY Magazine’s Strategist, this could be just what the architect in your life wants. IYKYK

Baltimore Print Studio, a public access, letterpress, screenprinting and Risograph studio, specializes in overlaying transparent inks to create brilliant, color-rich prints. Their selection of t-shirts is inspired by the marks, colors, and textures made from different printing methods.

Local jewelry designer Maggie Klinedinst creates pendants from Baltimore’s marble stoops salvaged by Brick & Board.

Food & Drink – for the ‘form follows function and food’ kind of designer

Zeke’s Coffee
started in 2005 with a man and a one-pound coffee roaster. Today, there is a blend for everyone, from light roasts Hai-Hon and Herring Run to stronger brews like Tell Tale Dark and Little Italy Roast.

Guided by an international palate, B-more Pasta fuses unique pasta making techniques from around the world to create the most interesting shapes, flavors and textures. B-More Pasta makes everything in small batches in the Northern part of the York Road Corridor. How about a pasta subscription? The gift that keeps on giving all year!

In 2016, Baltimore-based siblings Brittany and Joseph Wright founded Wight Tea Company, drawing on their expert palates and mixology experience to create unique handcrafted blends (like the Baltimore Breakfast Blend) you won’t find anywhere else. Three o’clock is teatime at the Center for Architecture and Design!

Maybe we’re partial to the name, but Culinary Architecture is a delightful shop in Pigtown jam packed with amazing food and ingredients from around the world.

Experiences – for the person that is hard to buy for (or just doesn’t want more stuff)

A Clipper Mill institution since 2005, Corradetti Glassblowing Studio is an independent studio where glasswork is created everyday including large scale installations, lighting projects, and tabletop pieces for home or office. Glassblowing classes & workshops are held regularly.

New to the Doors Open Baltimore schedule in 2023, the Station North Tool Library is a non-profit tool lending library that also offers workshops in a range of topics from drywall repair to knife making.

Our friends at Baltimore Heritage work to preserve and promote Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods.  “We ride bikes, climb scaffolding, and walk up and down hilly streets on our tours of Baltimore’s historic buildings and neighborhoods all across the city.” Contact them to gift a walking tour.

Also joining the Doors Open line-up this year, Blue Light Junction, is an independently run studio committed to uplifting the techniques and work of cultural practitioners of natural dyes. They offer occasional workshops on surface design with plant-based dyes.