Steve Portigal and Niti Bhan look at things from across the table:
Design can be brought in as a service, but it's important to remember that it's a creative service.
Designers are smart and talented people who typically do "think out of
the box" (a phrase more derided inside the design community than
outside, yet still requested in more initial meetings than you can
imagine). So although your desired outcome may be very specific, the
designer's process to delivering your outcome will inevitably involve
challenging its very foundations. Here's an illustration:
Q: How many designers does it take to change a light bulb? A: Does it have to be a light bulb?
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.