The studio component, where undergrads resolve design problems both independently and through collaboration, is at the heart of Ryerson University’s bachelor program. It’s what makes this school in downtown Toronto one of the best in the country; that, and an impressive list of alumni, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg among them.
The well-rounded curriculum covers art history, theory and business courses, and in third year students can study abroad through partner exchanges in Australia, England, Finland, New Zealand and Hong Kong, among other countries. In final year, they have the option to undertake an independent thesis that is reviewed by the faculty.
Getting your hands dirty also sets Ryerson apart. The program, which enrols 100 freshmen each year, takes place in three facilities: the Design Centre and the Workshop, on site; and the Design Fabrication Zone (DFZ), off-campus. In this incubator, students in architecture and interior design explore digital fabrication collaboratively. Founded by faculty member Filiz Klassen and managed by architect Tom Bessai, DFZ is equipped with a three-axis CNC router, 3‑D printers, laser cutters and a vacuum former, with robotic arms and 3-D scanners coming soon. In one real-life application, at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, students designed and fabricated a window display made up of wooden dowels mounted to a wall at various depths. Animated by pulsating light, the display evoked giant feet walking across the building’s facade.
Location: 350 Victoria St., Toronto
Tuition: from $7,000, international from $22,160
Job placement rate: 75%
Notable alumni: Diego Burdi and Paul Filek (Burdifilek), Elaine Cecconi (Cecconi Simone), Ashley Rumsey and Stanley Sun (founders of Mason Studio)
For more information about education in architecture, industrial design, interaction design, interior design and landscape architecture, visit our Top Schools section.