In Memoriam: Bill Moggridge (1943-2012)

Bill Moggridge (1943-2012)
Slide 1
Compass, a portable computer
Bill Moggridge (1943-2012)
Slide 1

Bill Moggridge, inventor of the first laptop computer, IDEO co-founder and director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, died on September 8.

Moggridge, a graduate of Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, established his London firm in 1969 and added a second office in 1979 in California’s burgeoning Silicon Valley. He was immediately hired by Grid Systems to design Compass, a portable computer. While it had little commercial success (attributed to its $8,000 price tag), it became a popular fixture on space explorations, beginning in 1983.

In 1991, he teamed up with David Kelley, a Stanford professor and Mike Nuttall, a British designer, to form IDEO. The internationally lauded firm focusses on human-centered design and has been sought after by some of the largest companies in the U.S. and abroad, including Apple, Samsung, Ford, Toyota and the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation.

In 2010, Moggridge was appointed director of New York’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum – one year after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Design Awards. He also won the Prince Philip Designer’s Prize in 2010. Under his leadership, the Cooper-Hewitt began working with Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to reconceptualize and transform the visitor experience and during the renovation of the Carnegie Mansion, he organized off-site exhibits at the United Nations and Governors Island.

Moggridge died of cancer in San Francisco on September 8 and is survived by his wife and two children.

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