I'm looking for advice on direction and my portfolio.
I've been working in architectural and sheet metal for the past 5 years, working at one very small company (less than 10 employees) and one medium company (around 50 employees). Late last year I felt like I had finally plateaued in metalwork and wasn't learning anything new, so I've taken some time to consider my direction and am looking to move into consumer electronics in the short term (next 5 or so years and ideally at a larger company), and would like to work at a consultancy in the long term. I'd currently place myself as a mid-level designer with a developing (but not there yet) interest in branding/strategy.
My 'in-the-wild' products are all sheet metal based, and I can't show the development process for any of them, but can use them as evidence of designs in production. I'm currently working on a few personal electronic projects to show technical capability (sketch, cad, render etc.) and join the dots as proof that I can apply a design process across different areas. The sterilisation sinks and packing table are the most recent products that I do have permission to show (without process) and had a heavy focus on design for manufacture to get the production price competitive for the market. I also built in a couple of ergonomic features to reduce repetitive strain injuries of workers and it had to pass infection control testing by the client.
-Without being allowed to show actual DFM details or show production drawings, is it adequate to show images of the products and to have a conversation about the business case and how the challenges of the project were overcome?
-What do you think of the general presentation of my folio? It is currently lacking process but the personal projects should fill this gap. Do you think I need to do more than 2 more personal projects to expand out of metalwork into electronics? My concern is that I can't show process for real products, and that I don't have any 'sexy' products to show. Are sinks and tables perceived as really boring?
-How much depth do I show for a personal project? Do I need to have full research etc or can it be used just to show technical skillset and use the real projects to demonstrate deeper research and development?
-Do people still bring a pdf to an interview? I was thinking of bringing some big A3/A2 prints of products and concepts and then doing a storytelling session about them.
All feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!