Engineering skills don’t have to exclude creativity

I read with interest about last week’s discussions between the engineering and non-engineering fraternities in design (Comment, DW 21 May). As an in-house product designer usually specialising in structural packaging, I wonder what camp I fall into. And more importantly, should I care?

I feel the job demands taking a reasonable knowledge in tooling and factory line restraints (or at least knowing what questions to ask), and combining it with a creative mind to satisfy my client – the marketing department. Often I will have contributed to initial brainstorming, prior to a brief, so will have had a chance to be “freely” creative. With the brief I then have to put my “engineering hat” on as well.

With the various blue chip companies I have worked in so far, I have always found that it is important to demonstrate that I can come up with as innovative an idea as any external consultancy.

Designing a new one litre bottle with tight height, width and depth constraints can test your creativity as much as a more open brief. It helps to know when you can push those restraints.

Going back to the original question, I consider my type of job to require the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, when job hunting in the past, I have come to the conclusion that many of the named design groups don’t consider me “one of them”. Perhaps they think my experience in-house will have dampened my creativity.

Surely the mark of a good designer, is to solve whatever technical and creative problems are presented to them in the most innovative way possible.

Ros Bramer

ros@rosdesign.in2home.co.uk

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