Derek McLeod graduated with a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2004.
In 2006, Derek was shortlisted for the OFS Hotseat Chair Design Competition and presented in Dallas, Texas. In 2007, Derek was shortlisted for the Ceramics for Breakfast Design Competition and his work was shown in Milan at the MACEF International Home Show. In 2008, Derek exhibited at 100% Design in London as part of a group of 10 Canadian designers selected by the Design Exchange.
Derek has been an invited critic at furniture critiques at the University of Toronto, the Ontario College of Art and Design and Sheridan College.
Derek designs and fabricates many of his own prototypes which are aimed at international competitions and eventual production. In 2008, Derek opened a studio to further these pursuits, focusing on product design while maintaining the capability to create exclusive custom furniture and objects.
Derek creates furniture and objects for people who like to live with quality. The pieces can be described as archetypal, comfortable and usable – things which make life better by looking and performing well. A reduction occurs in the design process which strips away unnecessary elements to arrive at a clear and obvious result. Chasing the ideal is a phrase which describes Derek's work, striving for the best version of a thing while understanding that the idea of best is always changing.