Hello, I’m Thomas Overthun

Associate Partner and Executive Design Director, IDEO San Francisco

I care deeply about our industrial design discipline, and partner closely with my fellow designers and our clients to bring products to market in great shape. 

What you won’t learn from my bio:
At 16, I read about Luigi Colani in the German TV Guide and it blew me away–I knew then being an industrial designer was the best job in the world.

Joined IDEO:
1993

Full Bio

As an associate partner and senior director of industrial design, Thomas Overthun leads design teams to focus on the entire journey of each product. Looking after the discipline in the San Francisco location, Thomas believes that the key to bringing great products to market lies in acknowledging that a product doesn’t exist in isolation, and has the potential to become its maker’s most powerful and persistent ambassador. To this end, IDEO brings all the necessary expertise together in one location.

Thomas has developed strong expertise in the areas of contract furniture and ergonomic seating, office and consumer electronics, kitchen tools and appliances, personal care and sports products. From a school chair that drove market leadership to helping a legacy British brand rediscover its innovative spirit, Thomas’ deep involvement in designing and shepherding new products to market has been his focus for more than 20 years.

Prior to IDEO, Thomas was part of the internal design team of the Dutch electronics company Philips. He began his career at moll design in Germany.

Thomas holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design from the University of Wuppertal, Germany.