Real-world training smooths the way

Helpful skills . . . Product designer Adam Moody says Otago Polytechnic focused on practical...
Helpful skills . . . Product designer Adam Moody says Otago Polytechnic focused on practical skills rather than theoretical design, which has helped him in his job as chief designer at Fisher & Paykel. PHOTO: OTAGO POLYTECHNIC
Bachelor of design (product)

Product designer Adam Moody still recalls the significance of a brief internship some 12 years ago.

‘‘I was in my last year studying for a bachelor of design (product) at Otago Polytechnic. I organised some work experience at Fisher & Paykel over the holidays for a couple of weeks.’’

Fast forward. Adam is now a chief designer for cooking and dishwashing products at Fisher & Paykel.

‘‘I’ve worked across most of our cooking, dishwashing and outdoor platforms over the years. Recent projects I’ve worked on include a modular set of companion products that can be installed together in different
installations —– coffee maker, combination steam oven, combination microwave, warmer drawer and pyrolytic oven,’’ says Adam, adding Fisher & Paykel’s 90-litre pyrolytic wall oven won a Red Dot design award a couple of years ago.

Adam enjoys the buzz of working on a range of projects simultaneously.

‘‘At Fisher & Paykel, we try to really understand our customer and are always looking to design the right product that truly meets our customer’s needs. As a design team we do this in a variety of ways; whether it is going to interview customers in their own home, in-store visits with customers who are looking at buying new appliances, or holding focus groups.

‘‘We have to learn about different markets around the world, too. A customer who lives in an apartment in Shanghai can have vastly different expectations compared with a customer in California or Australasia.’’

Adam says being exposed at a young age to engineering (his dad is an engineer) kindled his interest in how things were made.

‘‘Otago Polytechnic gave me a good grounding for realworld product design, focusing on practical skills rather than more theoretical design. This allowed me to slot in with a design team easily and get up and running quickly.’'

For more information about studying for a career in product design, visit