Thomas Meyerhoffer

Slip In

Slip In

Redefining the surf board again

This time i took a closer look at the original short board - the single fin. Applying what i learnt with the longboard and developing it together with one of the best all around surfers there is, Zed Layson. We tested many prototypes in Bali, Maldives, Barbados and back home in California.

Disruptive design - Slip In is a modern single fin mixing glide-style retro surfing with turn-based performance surfing: draw either a classic line or an entirely new one. This duality makes Slip In perform in any wave.

Slip In won best in show at the Boardroom surfboard expo in San Diego October 5th. A great honor as we shared the award with legendary shapers Mark Andreini and Gary Linden.

The rave reviews are streaming in and we are shaping them as quickly as we can

visit out surf site and order yours here

Design Museum Design Museum Design Museum Design Museum Design Museum

Designed to Win

Designed to Win, Design Museum, London

26 July - 18 November

Coinciding with London's biggest year of sport, Designed to Win explores the various ways in which design has shaped the sporting world. The exhibition charts key moments where design has played a significant role in progressing sport from performance, safely and fashion to new materials and technology.

We are proud to be part of this exhibition with three Meyerhoffer surfboards. If you visit, which we highly recommend if you are in London during the Olympics, you can see on display a Meyerhoffer 2 longboard, the One midsize board and our new Horsepill. There will also be video of the boards in action by Nick Welch.

Design Museum

What we do

We create disruptive innovation and new experiences

We aim to always stay a step ahead and create innovative experiences that will be remembered as something meaningful. We work with a unusually broad range of project that keeps us inspired and aware of the future as we are searching for the narrative of tomorrow from our design studio in California.

If you think you need a big design agency to solve your needs, you might want to take a closer look at us. We are a small studio but for various reasons we've gained the confidence of world renowned brands and been entrusted with large assignments.

Video of the studio

Designing experiences
changing expectations

Thomas goal when creating innovations in the fields of sports and technology is to alter user perceptions. Surf a Meyerhoffer surfboard, and the waves feel different. Turn on a Meyerhoffer-designed computer, and the Internet seems different. Sit on one of his chairs, and, well, you get the idea. For Thomas, a new product is not an end, but a beginning and opportunity for someone to experience some part of the world in an entirely new way.

Thomas is not simply a designer; he is an innovator who, through close partnerships with leading brands, small startups, and everything in between, has reinvigorated—and in some cases resurrected—individual companies and redefined entire product categories. His groundbreaking designs have been displayed in museums and books and covered by international media. Yet his products are most often found in offices, homes and the outdoors all around the world. Thomas is that rare designer whose work resonates as strongly within the industry, as it does with users simply looking for new ways to have fun.

While Thomas has a long record of success in broad categories like furniture, technology, and sporting goods he is equally passionate about start up endeavors. Whether working on his own designs or immersing himself with a well known brand, Thomas approaches each project with the same overarching philosophy—to understand the needs of the user, the history of the brand, and the social context, and then to create a design narrative that reshapes all of those things. What interests him is the relationship between people and objects, and his goal when creating products is to alter user perceptions. For Thomas, a new product is not an end, but a beginning—an opportunity for someone to experience some part of the world in an entirely new way.

His iconic and futuristic work has been featured in museums, books and been widely recognized around the world. And he has been featured in both Surfers journal and The New York Times.

Select Projects

  • Apple
  • Black Diamond
  • Burn
  • Cappellini
  • Chumby
  • Cobra Golf
  • Coca Cola
  • Danese
  • Flow
  • NEC
  • Neil Pryde
  • Nike
  • Orrefors
  • Porsche
  • Puma
  • Scott
  • Smith
  • SCA
  • Sony Ericsson
  • The North Face

Select Awards

Australian International Design Award "Meyerhoffer Surfboard" 2010
D&Ad Awards Silver "Meyerhoffer Surfboard" 2010
I.D. Magazine, Best of Category, "Meyerhoffer Surfboards" 2010
IDEA Award, Gold, "Meyerhoffer Surfboards" 2010
IF Design Awards "SCA/Tork Paper Dispenser"2009
Red Dot Design Awards "SCA/Tork Paper Dispensers"2009
IF Design Awards"Flow Snowboarding Binding" 2003
Red Dot Design Awards "Flow Snowboarding Binding"2003
IF Design Awards "Neil Pryde Windsurfing Sails" 2003
Red Dot Design Awards "Neil Pryde Windsurfing Sails"2003
Wired RAVE Awards "Danger HipTop" 2003
I.D. Magazine, Best of Category "Apple eMate" 1997
IF Design Awards "Apple eMate" 1997
Good Design "Apple eMate" 1997
IDEA Award, Silver, "Apple eMate" 1997
D&Ad Awards, Yellow Pencil, "Apple eMate" 1997
D&Ad Awards, Yellow Pencil, "Nec Monitor" 1997

Select Exhibitions & Events

Designed To Win, London Design Museum, 2012
TechnoCRAFT Yerba Buena Center for the Arts San Francisco, 2010
Shapers Night Noosa Surf Festival, 2010
The California Design Biennial Pasadena, California, 2007
The National Design Triennial Cooper Hewitt National Museum, New York, 2006
Blobobjects and Beyond San Jose Museum 2005
Future Design Days Stockholm, Sweden 2005
Die Neue Sammlung "New Scandinavia" 2000
SF MOMA Permanent Collection Apple eMAte
Beyond the Hype "Scandinavian Design"

Box

Paper dispensers for public restrooms

The project had a successful launch positioning Tork as global design leader. The design was awarded IF Design Awards and Red Dot design award in 2009


What we did

Design language
Product design
Design for production
Colors and Materials

Recognition

IF Awards
Red Dot Awards

Over 1 million people use the design every day, all over the world.

Q&A

You've just designed a line of soap and paper dispensers that will go into public restrooms around the world. From a design point of view, is that a big project or a small one?

This is for a Swedish company called SCA, the 2nd largest paper company in the world. When they have replaced all of their dispensers in airports, hotels, etc., they will have over a million people using them every day, from Sydney to Bombay to Las Vegas. It just shows you what design is. This is not a design statement. Nothing you would see in a fashion magazine. Nothing you can buy in a store. If I never spoke about it, it would just fade into the background. It's probably the most silent project I've worked on, but it's also going to impact more people than anything else I've ever done.

Initial concept sketches. Creation of a "capsule" like simple shape.

Why do you call it "silent?"

Because in a public restroom, you don't want anything to stand out. No design statement. When someone pulls out, say, a paper towel, you want them to feel like they're getting the first paper towel that's ever been pulled out of that dispenser. "Ah, this is my paper towel." So the design language is silent and solid and sculptural. There's a hardness and shell-like quality to all of it.

Any unexpected challenges with this project?

There was one major innovation from a design point of view. People servicing these need to know when they have to refill the paper. That's normally done with a little window on the side. But the window is kind of squiggly and breaks up the whole surface. So on mine, the whole lower portion of the front is a window. I pushed really hard for this. We had to go all over the world to find a tooling method that would fuse the window to the solid part of the box. The clear plastic is co-injected with the solid part. It's a major innovation. And it means better durability and increased hygiene, because there's no seam to catch dirt. So a side benefit is that these will be easier to service and to keep clean. That all started with me designing the window then asking if we could make that happen.

Early form development in cad. Translucent bottom concept.
Engineering development of internal mechanism and detailed form development in cad.

You spent almost three years on this project. What have you learned?

There are 14 different objects in this collection, and they all have to work together. Plus there were a lot of constraints because, as public-restroom objects, these had to meet laws and guidelines of several different countries. What that whole experience has given me is a newfound interest in creating objects that don't say anything, objects that will be accepted by a worldwide audience. I had to dare to do nothing.

Words By John Bradley

Surfboards

Horsepill shortboard
Tippin Point longboard


TO VISIT OUR SURFBOARD WEBSITE CLICK HERE



Q&A

Why the radically unique shapes of these boards?

The first question people always ask is "what makes them better? Are they faster?" I want to say, "It depends on whether or not you had a burrito before you went surfing."... It's your own perception of the experience that matters more than anything, and your experience is about more than just the board you're on.

Performance still matters though, right?

Of course. Obviously there are new categories and innovations all the time. But within that context, you still have to design a product that really works. Shaped skis took a while to catch on, but they perform better...

What was the ultimate goal with this project, then?

The same as with any project: A design that gives the user a better experience. That's what I want to get across with these shapes. Stop thinking about how a piece of equipment is supposed to look or how it's supposed to perform... and focus instead on your own experience.

So if something looks like it will be more fun, it will be?

That's what this project is about: Open your mind and feel your own experience. Don't search for something that doesn't exist. Don't search for so called "performance", because performance is only perceived by yourself.

Or an unexpected shape...

Exactly. It's important that you don't follow the tracks that were laid so many years before. I feel like 98 percent of design is just refinement of what has existed before. So objects become more complex, diluted versions of the initial clear concept...There's no need to do anything in this day and age unless it makes a change.

Words By John Bradley

Recognition

IDSA Gold Award
Australian International Design Awards, Gold
ID&d Awards, Silver
ID MAgazine Best of Category
Good Design

Press

SURFERS JOURNAL
Feeling vs. Decimal Dust

Words by Scott Hulet
Read PDF


THE NEW YORK TIMES
Going Beyond the Waves to Reshape Surfing

July 14, 2009
Read PDF

THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE.
The 9th Annual Year in Ideas.

December 14, 2009. Words by Jesse Ashlock.
Read PDF


I.D. MAGAZINE
Ahead of the Curve

October 2009. Words by Allan Weisbecker
Read PDF

OUTSIDE MAGAZINE
The Creator

September, 2008
Read PDF

Cappellini Chair

Chair
Cappellini, Italy 2002

Shown at Milano furniture fair in 2002. Fiberglass and Shaped Leather.This valuable collaboration allowed the studio to tinker with the hard lines of furniture, sport and technology design. The design allows the user to sit differently on the chair, in a normal position but also like on a saddle creating a different experience. The design incorporate sport manufacturing technology for the formed leather seat.

Soft Computer

Soft Computer
Chumby, 2006

A computer made like a sneaker, with a hard structure, a semi soft rubber frame, then wrapped in a leather bag that is soft and squeezable.

Soft good meeting hard goods.

Chumby's founders Steve Tomlin and Bunnie Huang wanted a innovative design for their product to showcase their software in the best light. Their initial concept was conceived as a modern clock radio - so when we started to think about the possibilities we thought soft - as its by the bed. Soft, to make it stand out to all its hard computer counter parts. And soft technology sounds good. In light of all other hard products.

So we set out to make a computer made like a sneaker, with a hard core, a semi soft rubber structure and a bean filled leather bag as its squeezable outer shell. It got a lost of attention. And created a whole following of open source programmers making new applications.

Through close partnerships with leading brands, small startups, and everything in between, we have reinvigorated and in some cases resurrected—individual companies and redefined entire product categories. This is one of them.

All development was made in CAD by the studio all the way to tooling and manufacturing

Smith Warp

Sport Equipment

For the last 15 + years I have designed innovative equipment for leading brands like Smith, Scott, Flow, and Neil Pryde. Many of the products have become iconic brand builders and several are best sellers. Some have changed the category forever.

Game changers

It all started in late 80's with the V3 goggle for Smith. Labeled by many as the first modern goggle it had a frame with a "wrap around" lens that created a more integrated look and more importantly a much better view out of the goggle. It became a huge success for Smith and changed the category forever. The collaboration with Smith lead to design of several other iconic goggles, some of which are still in production and on many faces on the slopes.

Smith V3 goggle - The first wrap around lens goggle. Designed in the early 90's

Outriggers

Another game changers was the Warp. It was the first goggle with "outriggers", an innovation that most helmet compatible goggles use today. They where a success also in motocross. The designs helped define Smith as an innovator and leader in the category.

We then designed a wide range of goggles and helmets for Scott helping to repositioning them from a fading brand - to one of the leading brands in Europe. The design development included, brand strategy and product range development.

Smith V3, Anthem and Warp
Scott MS1 helmet. Wintersport helmet with integrated ventilation features.

Design and Engineered Production

It also included Fit and Sizing development as we developed the product range from scratch. Through these multitude of project we have developed a broad experience in developing head and eye wear from concept to production. All of the projects where engineered and developed for tooling in CAD by us.

We develop the products in CAD for production. Tooling ready files.

How we work

We have worked with several leading brands to develop brand directions, innovations and design strategies. While we prefer to be involved early on to set the direction of the brand together, we take pride in developing innovative design that we are able to take all the way to production. We have developed packaging for a leading surf brand that is both environmentally friendly and shows off their brand in the right way. In short - we like challenges.

Capabilities

Strategy
Brand Development
Concepts
Product Development
Prototyping
Engineering for production
Packaging

Case DA Abitare

A man with dreams

Article about the studio in the Italian magazine, Summer 2012, Photos: Noah Webb