The Design Fabrication Zone (DFZ) at Ryerson University is an interdisciplinary incubator for design and fabrication, where emerging entrepreneurs build their ideas. From concept development to three-dimensional prototyping and beyond, the DFZ facilitates the incubation and acceleration of project ideas and strategically propels them towards real-life application and business innovation. To date, the DFZ has attracted 400 entrepreneurs and yielded 140 projects, 85 press articles and 18 commercial businesses.
The zone fosters rich networking opportunities for student and entrepreneur driven initiatives through mentorship, workshops, strategic partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The DFZ provides access to traditional and digital fabrication technologies, enabling members to prototype and model ideas for testing, evaluating and realizing design concepts.
Greg Smith, Michelle Hounslow, Arlene Gould, Wendy Robertson, Mark Cichy, Andrea Wong, Erik Aquino
Darcie Watson is a licensed architect and registered interior designer whose professional experience spans a diverse range of disciplines and scales including retail and residential interior design, architecture, immersive sculpture, digital fabrication and electronics.
After earning her interior design degree at the University of Manitoba, Darcie worked with several leading interior design and architecture firms in Toronto and New York before returning to complete a Masters degree in architecture with additional training at Columbia University GSAPP. She has spent the past decade working on high-end residential projects with architect Paul Raff and as owner and founder of Areacode, a small design practice in Toronto involved in residential renovations, additions, and new build homes in downtown Toronto.
As a senior associate with artist-architect Philip Beesley for almost three years, she managed the development, production and installation of large-scale diffusive and responsive sculptures as well as the urban-scale adaptive reuse of abandoned factories in Toronto’s Liberty Village.
Her interest in immersive and interactive architecture and environments informs past and present projects and explorations within her own design practice. Darcie’s particular strengths and interests lie in blending her cross-disciplinary skills and expertise to produce enhanced richness of detailing in her work.
Jeremy VandermeijBusiness Strategist
Jeremy is the Business Strategist at the DFZ and the Executive Director of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.
Previously, he was Director of Marketing and Sponsorship at IIDEXCanada and Creative and Marketing Director at the Gladstone Hotel where he was managing the brand, creating events and exhibitions, driving demand, building social and brand capital, and expanding the cultural content of the institution.
He has worked as a designer for 10 years in marketing, communications, architecture, education and interior design and has been art-making since he was old enough to negotiate tools. His experience includes Co-founder of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, Curator of Come Up To My Room, Instructor at Ryerson University, and Designer at Roundabout Studio, ALSOP Architects and the Design Exchange.
He is available for public speaking engagements.