On 6 October 2022, I was interviwed via Team by Kathryn van Beek.
If you’ve seen the Unearthed Ōtakou exhibition or video, then you’ll have seen the work of Otago Polytechnic design student Best Apisit – one of two design interns working with Te Whatu Ora – Southern.
“I studied design because it’s one of my favourite subjects,” says Best. “I’ve fallen in love with it.”
Best chose to study at Otago Polytechnic because of the design school’s reputation – but moving from Thailand to Dunedin was a bit of an adjustment.
“Everything in Bangkok is different from Dunedin – the lifestyle, the traffic, the weather, the food, the people. When I came here and I was hungry at midnight, I couldn’t find anything to eat because almost everything closes at 9pm!”
But it’s that lack of hustle and bustle that appeals to Best. “I like the nature. And the people here are nice.”
As part of the final paper for his Graduate Diploma, Best had to choose between doing his own project, a client project, or an internship.
But on his first visit to the hospital, Best felt a little trepidatious.
“I chose the internship because I wanted to have the experience of working with people, and the hospital is a place where I could bring my skill and perspective to help people.”
“I’d never been to a hospital before, and I thought it would be scary. But at the end of the day, it’s not as scary as it is in the movies.”
During his internship Best has designed posters, made videos, created logos, and made an infographic of the New Dunedin Hospital’s Outpatient Building.
“I’ve learnt about how to work from the hospital’s perspective,” Best says. “When I’m doing the design I have to think about the hospital’s branding, and my concept has to connect to the hospital. I have to fit my ideas to the hospital.”
Best was surprised that his hospital internship also involved working with historical objects. He worked with the New Dunedin Hospital project office to create the Unearthed Ōtakou exhibition, which showcases some of the items found on the building site.
“I didn’t know that underneath the new hospital they’d have some artefacts. It’s interesting that we can learn the history of the people that were here before.”
In his spare time, Best enjoys cycling, sketching, and painting watercolour landscapes – and he’s also working on a documentary about peace.
“I’m the President of The Peace Club at the University of Otago. We run activities like doing meditation and learning about peace through art. And I recently went to Wellington and interviewed Ambassadors from countries like Germany, Singapore and Malaysia, and asked their opinions about peace for the documentary.”
Now at peace with the not-too-scary hospital environment, Best would recommend the intern experience to other students.