Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) creative zones will finally have their own space.
Currently 110 Bond St. is being renovated to become the central space for the zones and is projected to be complete by spring 2018. Charles Falzon, dean of FCAD, said the renovation will create a more innovative space for the zones to collaborate.
“We have a need for spaces that are accessible to students and to project leaders that are interdisciplinary within FCAD,” Falzon said. “It’s going to be a versatile, multipurpose creative space.”
FCAD creative zones include the Transmedia Zone, the Design Fabrication Zone and the Fashion Zone, all part of the zone learning model at Ryerson. They provide students with opportunities to work on projects and start-ups and gain entrepreneurial skills.
The zones have never had a permanent space.
The fashion zone currently shares a space with Ryerson University’s DMZ in the basement of 10 Dundas St. E. The Design Fabrication Zone utilizes some rooms in the School of Interior Design building and the third floor of the Victoria building. The Transmedia Zone’s former location on the second floor of the Rogers Communications Centre is being renovated to make room for the FCAD Research Hub, which is also estimated to be complete by spring 2018.
Falzon said the Bond Street building was chosen because it is close to the schools within FCAD, which would make it easy for collaboration. He added the space will also have rooms students can use to hold workshops, meetings or events.
“We’ve been saying for a long time that FCAD is a creative innovation hub and it is demonstrated through the students and the joint projects they do,” Falzon said. “The idea of having spaces where different FCAD schools can actually work together on things is a real need.”
Cormac McGee, the music den coordinator at the Transmedia Zone said he is looking forward to moving into a shared zone space.
“Something that we’re always trying to do is find ways to collaborate with other zones,” McGee said.
Brendan Dellandrea, FCAD’s director of strategic planning and advancement, said this building is desperately needed in Ryerson’s search for space.
“We’re often constrained by a lack of availability,” Dellandrea said. “This new building will help alleviate some of that pressure.”
Ryerson received funding for this project and a series of other redevelopment projects through the federal government’s strategic investment fund. Ryerson received a total of $31.9 million from the fund and an additional $4.7 million from Ontario.
“What’s going to happen once this building is open is it’s going to be at the centre of a whole network of spaces all about within a two-minute walk from each other that provide collaboration, project space and advanced design technology capabilities,” Dellandrea said. “This is a statement that Ryerson University and FCAD in particular are in the business of creative innovation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”
Dan Greenwood, FCAD’s director of operations, said the spaces the creative zones are in now will be used for alternative purposes. He said once the Design Fabrication Zone moves out from the third floor of the Victoria building, the space will most likely go back to being used for classrooms.
“It’s a step forward for Ryerson,” Greenwood said. “Ryerson has grown so big that we need that space vitally.”