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Design Fabrication Zone

About the DFZ

Known for helping startups and project teams apply best practices in design, the Design Fabrication Zone at Ryerson University strategically propels early-stage inventions, businesses and installations through the stages from concept to prototype and mass manufacturing.

The DFZ offers members access to networking, mentorship, workshops, industry partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaborations. It also provides access to traditional and digital fabrication technologies so that members can prototype and evaluate their designs.

Hands-on training and design fabrication experience within a creative entrepreneurial environment.

State-of-the-art digital and traditional fabrication technologies and space to assemble large projects.

Mentorship and coaching from industry experts, thought leaders and successful entrepreneurs and artists.

Networking opportunities to build connections with industry, form partnerships and prepare for a career.

Experiential learning through workshops, design charrettes, competitions and access to accredited professional designers.

Access to industry, government and institutional grants, funding and awards.

  • Hands-on training and design fabrication experience within a creative entrepreneurial environment.
  • State-of-the-art digital and traditional fabrication technologies and space to assemble large projects.
  • Mentorship and coaching from industry experts, thought leaders and successful entrepreneurs and artists.
  • Networking opportunities to build connections with industry, form partnerships and prepare for a career.
  • Experiential learning through workshops, design charrettes, competitions and access to accredited professional designers.
  • Access to industry, government and institutional grants, funding and awards.

 Our Primary Membership features two distinct program streams, the Startup Stream and Experimental Stream.

  1. Start-up Stream: The Startup Stream supports entrepreneurs who address problems in various industries and fields by incubating early-stage ventures as they begin their journey toward commercialization. You have an idea for a design-driven venture or product that’s ready to incubate.This stream is ideal for startups, entrepreneurs, designers, architects, and a range of engineers, including mechanical, electrical, aerospace and robotics.
  2. Experimental Stream: The Experimental Stream enables emerging designers to pursue stand-alone built projects and installations that engage, provoke and inspire. You have a concept for a project or installation that will push the limits of design. This stream is ideal for interior designers, architects, costume designers, inventors, visual artists, sculptors, new media pioneers and anyone with an idea for an inventive installation.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis and will be screened bi-monthly or six times a year, in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Applications will undergo an initial screening process, and successfully-screened applications will be invited to partake in an interview with the Admissions team. The application process takes approximately 1 month from application to on-boarding. If accepted, your company or projects will be granted a 4-month membership at no cost. After the initial four-month term, membership is subject to review and membership fees will apply.

Our Facilities

Please visit Our Facilities for full details on membership resources and amenities.