Bill Moggridge Passes Away at 69

Bill Moggridge Passes Away at 69

Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum since 2010, died Sept. 8, following a battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.

Designer of the first laptop computer and co-founder of IDEO, Moggridge pioneered interaction design and integrated human factors into the design of computer software and hardware.

A Royal Designer for Industry, 2010 winner of the Prince Philip Designers Prize, and 2009 winner of Cooper-Hewitt's National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, Moggridge described his career as having three phases, first as a designer, second as a leader of design teams and third as a communicator.

For the first two decades as a designer, he developed his business internationally in 10 countries, designing high-tech products, including the Grid Compass, the first laptop computer, released in 1982.

With the co-founding of IDEO in 1991 with David Kelley and Mike Nuttall, he turned his focus to developing practices for interdisciplinary teams and built client relationships with multinational companies.

Since 2000, he had been a spokesperson for the value of design in everyday life, writing books, producing videos, giving presentations and teaching, which were further supported by the historical depth and contemporary reach of the museum.

A graduate of the Central School of Design in London, his professional activities included those of advisor to the British government on design education (1974), trustee of the Design Museum in London (1992-1995), visiting professor in interaction design at the Royal College of Art in London (1993) and member of the Steering Committee for the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy (2003).

He was the author of Designing Media, published by MIT Press in November 2010, which examines the connections between traditional mainstream media and the emerging digital realm and Designing Interactions, published by MIT Press in October 2006, which explores how interaction design is transforming daily life.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Karin, and two sons, Alex and Erik.

Photos: Cooper-Hewitt

Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum