Your comment regarding not seeing what I meant regarding the “engineering” aspect of design consultants value:
There are large volumes of people here who can put forth highly stylized rendering of beautiful objects. In Los Angeles alone, there are strong ID programs such as Art Center, Cal State Long Beach, and others. Hence many industrial design types.
But how proficient are these individuals in component part design, tolerance stack up analysis, understanding the ins-and-outs of injection molding, die casting, stamping, and other manufacturing processes, detailed drafting to geometric tolerance standards, tooling design, material selection and specifications, as well as designing to regulatory standards and a host of other factors?
How many of these facets are you proficient at?
Design is a hell of a lot more that just mastering Photoshop. It’s about making good looking, functional products at a profit that can be mass produced efficiently.
In this forum I see so-o-o-o many discussions from young designers talk about their frustrations in their roles in the process of design, yet their skill set isn’t diverse enough to even make a simple object from concept to production. Companies don’t want to hire entire groups of people if they can have a multi-disciplined designer whose skill set brings to the table the knowledge of the whole design process.
This skill set is what I have found allows me to go into a company, and provide them with design, engineering, vendor interface and integration into manufacturing to a degree that I exceed their expectations and they feel that my fee was the best bargain they ever made.
Key to this is LISTENING TO THEIR NEEDS, NOT YOUR IDEA OF THEIR NEEDS. You can ask all sorts of probing questions that forces them to evaluate their needs requirements, but for the most part, the company you contract to work for knows its business, you merely provide a cost-effective service in getting them to market. You assist them in exploring the possibilities and guide them in making those possibilities realities.
See the thread in General discussion on “When should I start caring…” for more.