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Yabu Pushelberg Award for Innovation in Interior Design

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We’re looking for work that pushes the boundaries of digital design, demonstrates creative approaches to fabrication constraints and encourages new ways of thinking about Interior Design innovation.

The Design Fabrication Zone is proud to facilitate the 5th Annual Yabu Pushelberg Award for Innovation in Interior Design! This is an exciting opportunity for Ryerson Interior Design students to get funding, mentorship and technical support to take a project to the next level through a two-term membership at the DFZ. We’re looking for work that pushes the boundaries of digital design, demonstrates creative approaches to fabrication constraints and encourages new ways of thinking about Interior Design innovation.

In addition to the $6,000 award, recipients will receive:

  • Membership to the Design Fabrication Zone for the duration of the project
  • One-on-one mentorship, guidance and training from DFZ design and technical experts
  • Access to the workshop spaces and state-of-the-art equipment at FCAD’s Creative Technology Lab
  • Two terms enrollment in CEDZ100 Zone course.  Students who completed four terms will earn an "Optional Specialization in Zone Learning: Design Fabrication" on their transcripts.

The award is generously funded by RSID alumni George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, with matching funding from the Brookfield Institute and Ryerson University. The intention of this fund is to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship in Interior Design by supporting a Ryerson Interior Design student to pursue his/her own area of interest and specialty with relevance to the RSID undergraduate course work and creative direction.  

Funding will be made available to the award winner in the Spring of 2021 to undertake his/her project in the summer months.

All inquiries should be directed to


More details and eligibility requirements are available below. The Design Fabrication Zone will be holding Open Office Hours for Interior Design students to further inquire about the award. If you'd like to discuss your idea, the feasibility of your fabrication plan or ask any other questions, you can join us for a casual conversation on the following dates via Zoom, external link.

  • Friday November 20, 2020 at 3pm
  • Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 2pm
  • Monday, February 1, 2020 at 12pm


Applications open:  Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Application Deadline:  Monday, March 1, 2021

Winner Announcement: Friday, April 9, 2021

Project Duration: April 2021 to December 2021 (2 terms)


To be eligible for this award, students must:

  • Be registered as a full-time undergraduate student (4 billing units) School of Interior Design at Ryerson University through the end of spring term 2021.
  • Have a minimum CGPA of 3.0 and be in clear academic standing.
  • Team applications are permitted with a maximum of two team members.  Assistance of others during installation is permissible with prior approval.

Project application submitted per Design Fabrication Zone application requirements, along with a one-page brief outlining how the project best demonstrates innovation in interior design. Faculty members from the School of Interior Design can also nominate a student for the Award by submitting a one-page letter of support.

The project application and brief/letter of support will be assessed and weighted based on the following factors:

  • Proposed Interior Design Innovation/Entrepreneurship: 30%
  • Clarity of ideas developed (with reference to the driving RSID undergraduate course/investigation) and project samples: 30%
  • Compelling new research, creative and/or prototyping direction: 30%
  • Overall presentation: 10%

A completed application must include:

  • Project Application (via Awardspring)
  • Portfolio submission of two school projects in pdf format (one for each student)
  • One-page brief outlining conceptual project proposal and how the project best demonstrates innovation in interior design
  • One paragraph statement outlining the project’s feasibility in current fabrication constraints (for questions on this matter, please email Vishal Vinod Kumar at or attend an information session) 
  • One paragraph statement outlining specific needs required from the Design Fabrication Zone in order to complete the project
  • Conceptual images of proposed project 
  • Letter of support for the proposal from a RSID faculty member
  • A project timeline (Gantt chart preferred)
  • A budget that outlines how the award will be utilized

The selection committee will be comprised of at least three representatives from Ryerson University. They will review the applications and prepare a ranked list of qualified Award recipients. The final selection of the recipient will be based on the weighted criteria. If, in the opinion of the selection committee, no candidates meet the outlined criteria, the Award shall not be given to any applicant in 2021.