Otago Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic Product Design graduand Rohina Brinsdon has taken up an internship at award-winning Dunedin company Fisher & Paykel Ltd.

Rohina has been invited to take part in a project encompassing inclusive design and design for the aging population.

The mother-of-three, who completed a Certificate in Creative Studies at Otago Polytechnic before enrolling in the Bachelor of Design (Product), enjoys the mix of a wide range of disciplines — including art, graphic design, research, computer-aided design — as well as collaborating with others.

“Fisher & Paykel is a global brand, and well respected in the industry, so the opportunity to work and learn there over this summer is fantastic,” says Rohina, who will attend an Otago Polytechnic’s graduation ceremony at the Dunedin Town Hall on Friday 14 December.

“I have been asked to research inclusive design, which is design that is accessible to people of many different capabilities, such as people with disabilities, the elderly and people who are visually impaired.

“I have looked at inclusive design on the Internet, and I attended a VICTA (Visually Impaired Charitable Trust Aotearoa) meeting where I talked with the members about issues they face due to their low vision.

“It’s good to be prepared, but not too prepared, because it’s hard to let go of preconceived ideas.”

Fisher & Paykel Chief Designer Lauren Palmer says the Dunedin-based design team welcomesRohina’s input.

“Our design approach sees us put the end-user at the centre of our process, and we’re excited to have Rohina come on board over the summer and assist us as we look more deeply into how we best serve the needs of a wide variety of users.

“At Fisher & Paykel, we are interested in both physical and cognitive ergonomics, and about how appliances make us feel. 

“We are driven by the fundamental question ‘How do people live?’ And we are curious about not only the function and performance of our products, but also the emotional role they play in people’s lives. 

“Domestic appliances are often required to be multidisciplinary, not only performing multiple functions but also working with different people with differing skills, all of whom still want the same levels of control and precision.”

Otago Polytechnic Academic Leader (Product Design) MachikoNiimi is “thrilled” over Rohina’s Fisher & Paykel internship.

“Completing your degree one week and stepping into a paid internship the next is great. 

Fisher & Paykel is one of the largest international product development companies in Dunedin and has always been supportive of our programme and our students.

“This opportunity is another example of how Otago Polytechnic’s Product Design programme produces work-ready and industry-relevant graduates.

“And, as a third of the New Zealand population reaches over 65 years of age, we need to be mindful of designing products that are both practical and desirable.”

Earlier this year, Rohina was invited to work as a paid design intern at Dunedin fireplace company Escea Ltd.

“Internships are a great way for learners to experience real-world problems while working collaboratively to achieve real outcomes,” Machiko says.

Read more about our Product Design programme 

Published on 10 Dec 2018

Orderdate: 10 Dec 2018
Expiry: 30 Apr 2019