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The DFZ began in 2014 as a collaboration between Ryerson’s School of Interior Design and the Department of Architectural Science, focusing on the acceleration of ideas to provide students with pragmatic design learning and preparation for business innovation. At its heart, the DFZ is a space for student driven initiatives to be fostered and for students to be mentored through interdisciplinary collaboration.

Over the years, the incubator has flourished into a cross-disciplinary hub for design and fabrication innovation and entrepreneurship.

Our Vision

To help startups and project teams apply best practices in design.

Our Mission

To strategically propel early-stage inventions, businesses and installations through the stages from concept to prototype and mass manufacturing.

“The startups and projects that incubate and emerge in the Design Fabrication Zone are incredibly diverse but share a common bond: they leverage best practices in design to have an impact.”

Darcie Watson, Director, Design Fabrication Zone

Zone Highlights

500 entrepreneurs

85 press articles

140 Projects

18 commercial businesses