I make Glass Tubes.
One of my favorite television shows is "Sports Night." This Aaron Sorkin written show was the precursor of all the West Wing / Studio 60 / Newsroom scenes that everyone fawns over (including myself), and is filled with little pearls of wisdom...to see one, hit up my Vizify account and see my quotes.
One of the best scenes ever is a scene where a ratings consultant discusses with the upper corporate management about how to get the best out of people, and how to assist the team as a whole. He uses Glass Tubes as his mechanism.
You're saying to yourself: "Huh...glass tubes?"
Design Technologist in my mind
I consider myself a "design technologist." What does that mean? That means that I came from The Projects: I know how projects work (from both a multi-discipline standpoint AND my primary discipline standpoint), and I know a lot about technology (design technology specifically, general IT as well) and how it affects project deliverables , production. I believe in innovation, trying new things, and taking a risk to make the whole better.
But do I work on projects right now at my company? From a direct production standpoint...no. But on the project, yes! Absolutely. Design Technologists provide guidance, oversight, mentoring, assistance to both management (strategic) and production (tactical.), amongst many other tasks (Go ask "X", he'll know!) A rare breed.
Does this mean that those who work directly on projects with a similar technology flair or savoir-faire are not Design Technologists? Of course not...but for right now, I'm taking it from my POV, which is oversight, guidance, etc....
Where does Glass Tubes fit in? If you know the story of Philo Farnsworth and Cliff Gardner you'd know....
Philo invented "television" in a little house in Provo, Utah, at a time when the idea of transmitting moving pictures through the air would be like me saying I figured out a way to transfer matter across the universe...Philo was inventing the Cathode Receptor, which is the basis for the initial televisions. His brother-in-law was Cliff Gardner...who didn't have Philo's capabilities for all things science, but wanted to be a part of what Philo was doing (plus they were in business together at one point in a radio repair business, and of course, Philo married Cliff's sister.)
Cliff figured out that Philo was going to need glass tubes in his process. Cliff taught himself to be a glass blower (not like you could go down to Home Depot in the early 1900s and get a glass tube), and made all the tubes Philo needed. That's pretty amazing if you ask me: he looked at a situation, wanted to be a part of it. and jumped in to assist.
So how does this fit into Design Technology and how we do our business?
Where's the fit?
Traditional Design Technologists (that is, those who sit in a consultant capacity within the company but outside of the primary project) may not be designers or engineers on the project, but they've been there before and know what needs to be done...they can look at the process and identify technology that can help you on the way. They can work with the teams on workflow, innovation, and new ways. They can help you get the most of what you may be trying to accomplish...they can help!
They can make glass tubes.
Now, whether those Glass Tube makers should be folded into the project or be separate as a consultative group to help all is something for another discussion.
Song lyric referenced:
Subdivisions from Rush