Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Thomas Meyerhoffer

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Ethnicity  Swedish
Occupation  Industrial Designer
Name  Thomas Meyerhoffer

Thomas Meyerhoffer httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Born  1965 (age 49–50)Stockholm, Sweden
Education  Art Center College of Design

Witb 8 thomas meyerhoffer

Thomas Meyerhoffer is a Swedish-American designer, innovator and design entrepreneur. He is the founder and principal designer of Studio Meyerhoffer an award-winning design firm. He is also regarded as one of the more progressive surfboard shapers in the world and is the founder of his own surf brand.


Meyerhoffer believes in design which connects with people on a deeper level through form and innovation. He is the recipient of multiple international design awards such as D&AD, IDEA, IF and Red Dot Awards. In addition, Meyerhoffer has been a participant in major design exhibitions in the Cooper Hewitt , San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Design Museum London. His projects have included Apple, Cappellini, Coca-Cola, Danger, Neil Pryde, Nike, Orrefors, Smith, Puma, Sony Ericsson, The North Face and Latch.

Innovation stuntmen thomas meyerhoffer

Early life

Meyerhoffer was born in 1965 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Before attending university, Meyerhoffer served his compulsory service in the Swedish Armed Forces Medical Care Division. Afterwards, Meyerhoffer originally attended the St. Martins College of Art in London. Realizing he wanted more from his design education, after three months, he applied to Art Center College of Design in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland. At Art Center, Meyerhoffer was the recipient of the Dr. Tech. Marcus Wallenberg Foundation Scholarship and spent two (exchange) semesters studying at the Art Center campus in Pasadena, California. During his semesters in Pasadena, he will admit to spending a lot of time driving his beloved 1968 Lincoln Continental 2-Door Coupe around California, and traveling to Maui to surf and windsurf.

During his last year of studies, Meyerhoffer won the Sony Design Vision - International Student Design Competition for his design/invention of WallGame, an in-home entertainment interaction console. This award included him receiving the highest honor and his first travel experience to Japan in which he visited Sony Headquarters in Kyoto and traveled around for 10 days. He also won the Gold Star (now known as LG) Design Award for his innovation of the Syntais, portable composting product. Meyerhoffer graduated with honors, a B.S. in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design, Switzerland.


After Art Center, Meyerhoffer moved to Stuttgart, Germany, to intern for Porsche AG in their design department under Harm Lagaay. Disenchanted by life in the Black Forest of Germany, he returned to California, and began working at IDEO in San Francisco. Hired by Paul Bradley, he worked at the design firm where Bill Moggridge, Mike Nuttall, and Tim Brown, were practicing.

At IDEO, Meyerhoffer designed products for clients such as Smith and NEC. He worked his way up in the company to where he was running his own projects. For the NEC projects, he worked with Naoto Fukasawa and met his longtime friend Chris Stringer. During this time, he also received his first professional design award, D&AD Yellow Pencil, for his design of the NEC M900 Monitor, the first monitor with a rounded back.

Once Jonathan Ives became the head of the Apple industrial design group, Meyerhoffer was his first hire. As Senior Industrial Designer, he most notably worked on the Apple eMate, which was regarded by many as the precursor to the iMac.

In 1999, Thomas Meyerhoffer founded the award-winning, California based design firm, Meyerhoffer, Inc. He is the owner and principal designer, creating designs for a variety of industrial sectors including fashion, lifestyle, furniture, sports and technology. Meyerhoffer collaborates with international brands and innovative startups on the design of new products and brand stories. His clients include Cappellini, Coca Cola, Cynthia Rowley, Griffin, Danger, Isaora, Neil Pryde, Nike, Orrefors, Smith, Puma, Sony Ericsson, The North Face and Vulcan Ventures. In 2007, Businessweek acknowledged him as one of “Apple’s All-Star Alumni.” For an individual who does not seek the limelight, Meyerhoffer has been recognized for his work in books and news publications around the world; The New York Times Magazine, Domus, Outside Magazine, Case Da Abitare, Metropolis, I.D., WWD and Wired among others.

Today, Meyerhoffer is a co-founder of several startups; advising brands on design strategy and focusing on the craft of design looking into the future, pushing the boundaries by exploring new technologies creating new user stories.

Select Projects

  • 1994—Designs the Smith V3, the first wrap-around-lens ski goggle, an all-time bestseller.
  • 1996—Leads the team that creates Apple’s eMate, an iMac forerunner.
  • 1999—Creates the Smith Warp, the first ski goggle designed to be worn with a helmet.
  • 2002—Designed rear-entry snowboard bindings for FLOW, allowing riders to click in while standing. IF Award.
  • 2003—Designs a line of wind-surfing sails and creates the design language for NeilPryde, wins a Gold Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America, IDEA, IF Red Dot awards
  • 2003—Capplellini M3 Chair designed by Meyerhoffer shown at Milano Furniture Fair
  • 2004—Designed the Danger Hiptop (also known as the T-Mobile Sidekick). Danger, Co-founded by Andy Rubin, was acquired by Microsoft in 2008.
  • 2006—Designs Chumby, a soft-computer. Named by Wired magazine as one of the top gadgets for 2008.
  • 2009—"The Meyerhoffer" surfboards are first revealed and surfed with praise from big wave legend Peter Mel and two-time world longboard champion Jen Smith at Noosa Surf Festival [1]. Featured in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Surfers Journal. D&AD, IDEA Award.
  • 2010—Collaborated with Cynthia Rowley for Roxy for debut at Barney's New York CO-OP and Colette in Paris.[2]
  • 2011—SCA Tork line of paper dispensers now used in 80 countries by more than 100 million users every day. IDEA and IF Red Dot Awards.
  • 2012—“The Meyerhoffer” Slip In Single Fin awarded “Best in Show” at Sacred Craft
  • 2013— “The Meyerhoffer” Slip In Single Fin, recognized by Red Bull Decades as the surfboard of the future. IDEA Award.
  • 2013— Designs the new Coca-Cola Heritage Glass, with its debut at Colette in Paris.
  • 2016— CDO of Latch, a smart access start up.
  • Surfboard Design

    After Meyerhoffer’s experience with Italian furniture companies, such as his chair for Cappellini, collaborations with Artemide and Danese, he decided to not spend most of his time in Italy. Instead, he followed his passion for surfing and began experimenting with developing his own surfboard designs back at home where he had a newborn child.

    In 2000, less concerned in function and instead focused on feeling, his early surfboards were created in an expression of the experience itself: riding an ocean wave. Finding design in nature, these bizarre and novelty surfboards — akin to a concept-car — were never intended for production, but explored new design directions, technology and styling. Out of these free experiments came breakthrough moments — the boards performed beyond expectation — inspiring Thomas to pursue his ideas a stage further. These original boards were introduced to the world through a feature article in Surfer’s Journal in 2007.

    Using computer-aided design techniques, already familiar to him — long before it became common practice in surfboard building — he overcame the shortfalls of a production process unable to accommodate his unorthodox methods to create the now iconic, ‘Hourglass’ Longboard shape. The surfboards caught the attention of Mark Kelly, CEO of the leading surfboard manufacturer, Global Surf Industries. In 2007, the Meyerhoffer Longboard was launched by GSI at the Noosa Surf Festival in Australia. His distinctive and desirable form became an instant hit, being public interest, national press and a string of international design awards — a feat never before achieved in surfing.

    With the unexpected success came the inevitable skeptics. In the surfing world, opinions were polarized: open minded surfers embraced the boards, while many questioned the validity of the design and its subsequent commercial success. Meanwhile, Thomas found himself working at the leading-edge of surfboard design.

    Even with mainstream success, the surf industry remained slow to adopt Thomas’ ideas, however it did afford him opportunity to confer with some of surfing’s master craftsman and surfers, including Mike Tebeling, Randy Rarick and Australian pioneer surfer and surfboard designer, Bob McTavish, who all were major proponents of Meyerhoffer’s board designs.

    A progressive thinker himself, McTavish encouraged Thomas to follow his vision, remembering he too was laughed at for his own bold innovations throughout the 1960s. He urged Thomas to work at his craft and enlist the best surfers to test the equipment: only then could he begin to measure his success as a surfboard designer. Energized by the encounter, Thomas returned to the basics of surfboard design and above all, the fun of surfing. A period of extensive travel introduced him and his design concepts to a world of waves and surfers: the feedback would prove invaluable.

    Back home and back into production, he began working ever-more accurately and efficiently with the computer, unencumbered by traditional, antiquated tools. His output was creative and substantive, yielding a range of shortboard and longboard shapes. Most notably, the Slip-In model received much attention and was awarded the ultimate accolade of, ‘Best in Show’ at the prestigious Sacred Craft surfboard exhibition — an event rooted in the traditions and craft of surfboard building. Significantly, the award was recognition from surfing’s core establishment. Adventurer and professional surfer, Josh Mulcoy was an early adopter of the SlipIn and he was featured in Surfer Magazine highlighting the qualities of the board. In 2013, Red Bull Decades highlighted Meyerhoffer as a leading shaper of the future of surfboards. The Slip In was featured as one of the future designs, as tested by professional surfers Jamie O’Brien and Kolohe Andino. Additional recognition came from leading industry Japanese surf magazine, Surfing Life, featuring Meyerhoffer’s Slip In as the innovative board design, that brings together creativity and high performance technology. The Slip In experience as quoted by Jana Irons, Editor Surfer Magazine: “Many who have dismissed Meyerhoffer’s shapes have done so purely on principle. Most who have ridden them have raved about them.”.

    Under the mantra ‘Surf Forward’, Meyerhoffer surfboards continue its unique evolution, gaining momentum and following. Enjoying status at the vanguard of surfboard design, Thomas now silences his critics by allowing the surfboard to speak for itself. His beautifully functional, powerfully simple designs are now used by devotees and professional surfers alike, the world over.


    Thomas Meyerhoffer Wikipedia