Designers and engineers conflict. Designers don't have to make things work, engineers do. If it wont work bye bye.
Increasingly designers do have to consider functionalilty though.
In academia such as engineering or computer science, its even more down the line. You are given a task to solve ,must meet requirement and you must acheive a specific answer.
If you try to be creative with the solution but it does not technically solve the problem you have failed the task.
Where as designers might be given a breif and some basic requirements and can be more creative.
Engineers also must meet specific design rules for electronics, trace routing, termination, voltages, resistances, distances between components and EMI performance.
They can be creative in how they meet these rules but theres only so many ways to get the same result especially in standard PC form factors.
Designers should do their thing
Engineers should do their thing
Both should work together in harmony
However academia SHOULD at least give engineers an insight into design just as computer science/IT students learn basic courses on UI design.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.