Hi all,<P>For what it's worth....In my experience as a technical director (straight & musical theater--I haven't done many dance productions), the most talented and able designers have been the ones that have also had extensive experience as a technician in their starting-out days in the business. <P>As a result, they know the capabilities of the instruments at their service, be it in lighting, scenery or costume design. They know the limits and the strengths of the various materials at hand. A result of this wholly-rounded understanding of their respective crafts is that they are instantly able to intuit when a technician or TD (or ME) type is BSing them!
<P>Additionally, I think designers are really "born." Anyone can be a great technician, but you really have to WANT to design. I take myself as an example: I'm an excellent carpenter,props builder and draftsman. But I have no desire whatsoever to be a designer. That's not me, and that's not what makes me love the theater. I think it's much harder to be a designer; I've built many gorgeous sets that I was very proud of, partly because I made the designer's renderings appear in real-life. Then again, I've built many a well-contructed ugly set as well. (You won't see those in my portfolio.