Bill Moggridge

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Bill Moggridge
Bill Moggridge
Bill Moggridge at CIID in June 2010
William Grant Moggridge[1]

(1943-06-25)25 June 1943[1]
London, England
Died8 September 2012(2012-09-08) (aged 69)[2]
San Francisco, California, US
Alma materCentral Saint Martins College of Arts and Design
Occupation(s)Director, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Cofounder and Fellow, IDEO
Years active1965–2012
SpouseKarin Moggridge[3]
ChildrenAlex Moggridge and Eric Moggridge[3]
RelativesHenry William Lawrence Moggridge (great nephew)[3]

William Grant Moggridge, RDI (25 June 1943 – 8 September 2012) was an English designer, author and educator who cofounded the design company IDEO[4] and was director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.[5] He was a pioneer in adopting a human-centred approach in design, and championed interaction design as a mainstream design discipline (he is given credit for coining the term). Among his achievements, he designed the first laptop computer, the GRiD Compass,[6] was honoured for Lifetime Achievement from the National Design Awards,[7] and given the Prince Philip Designers Prize.[8][3] He was quoted as saying, "If there is a simple, easy principle that binds everything I have done together, it is my interest in people and their relationship to things."[9]

Early life and education[edit]

Bill Moggridge was born in London on June 25, 1943, to Helen (an artist) and Henry Weston Moggridge (a civil servant).[3]

Moggridge studied industrial design at the Central School of Art and Design, London, from 1962 to 1965.[10] In 1965 he moved to the US to find opportunities as a designer, and landed his first job as a designer for the American Sterilizer Co. in Erie, Pennsylvania, designing hospital equipment. In 1969, Moggridge returned to London to study typography and communications.[11]


Moggridge Associates[edit]

In 1969, Moggridge founded his first company, Moggridge Associates, in the top floor of his home in London.

His first industrial design to reach the market was a toaster for Hoover UK in the year 1970.[12] In 1972, he worked on his first computer project, a minicomputer for Computer Technology Ltd, UK, that was never produced. In 1973, another Hoover UK design, for a space heater, was featured on the cover of a UK design magazine.[11]

ID Two and IDEO[edit]

Moggridge returned to the US in 1979 to open another firm, called ID Two, first located in Palo Alto, California.[4] An early client was GRiD Systems, for whom he designed what is widely regarded as the first laptop computer, the GRiD Compass. This was the first portable computer with a display that closed over the keyboard, a patented innovation that GRiD licensed for many years. It retailed at $8,150 (£5,097) and flew on board every Space Shuttle mission from 1983 to 1997.[6][13]

In 1982, designer Mike Nuttall joined ID Two from the London office and worked on another portable computer project, the WorkSlate, for Convergent Technologies. Because of the potential for conflict of interest, Nuttall left ID Two to form his own firm in Palo Alto, Matrix Product Design. In this period, Moggridge also began teaching in Stanford University's Product Design Program, where he met fellow teacher David Kelley, who had his own engineering design firm, David Kelley Design.

In 1991, Moggridge became a co-founder of IDEO, with David Kelley and Mike Nuttall, as all four firms merged into one. Moggridge stayed at IDEO until 2010, when he was named an IDEO Fellow.[4]

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum[edit]

In March 2010, Moggridge left IDEO to become director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, the first person to do so without a museum background. Cooper Hewitt is the only museum in the US devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design.[14]

Moggridge died of cancer in a hospice in San Francisco on 8 September 2012.[3]

Academic roles[edit]

From 1983 to 2010, Moggridge was consulting associate professor in different departments at Stanford University, including the Product Design Program,[15] the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization,[16] and the (officially the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design).[17]

Moggridge was Congress Chair for CONNECTING'07, the Icsid World Design Congress held in San Francisco, a role that began in 2000 as he led the effort to prepare a bid that was presented at the 2001 Icsid Congress in Seoul, Korea.[18][19]

In 2001, Moggridge became a steering committee member at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Ivrea, Italy.[20]

In 1993, he was a visiting professor in interaction design at Royal College of Art in London[21] and he was a trustee at the Design Museum in London 1992–1995.[2][dead link] He had been an advisor to the British government on design education in 1974,[19] and a board member at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.[22]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2014, Moggridge was posthumously awarded an AIGA Medal.[23]

Moggridge was given an honorary doctorate from CCA (California College of the Arts) in San Francisco in 2012.[10]

In FastCompany's October 2011 issue, Moggridge was profiled as a Master of Design,[24] and named one of the 50 Most Influential Designers in America.[25]

In 2010, he was given the Prince Philip Designers Prize.[8]

Moggridge was given a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 at the National Design Awards, in a ceremony at the White House, presided over by First Lady Michelle Obama[7]

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) named Moggridge a Fellow in 2006.[19]

In 1988 Moggridge was named a Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.[26]


In October 2006, Moggridge published Designing Interactions (The MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-13474-8), a 764-page introduction to and history of interaction design comprising 40-plus interviews with designers and entrepreneurs, from Douglas Engelbart to Will Wright to Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Moggridge conducted the interviews, recorded and edited the videos (included with the book on a DVD), and designed the book and the book's website. BusinessWeek named it one of the Best Innovation and Design Books in 2006,[27] and design commentator Don Norman wrote, "This will be the book—the book that summarizes how the technology of interaction came into being and prescribes how it will advance in the future."[28]

Moggridge followed this in October 2010 with Designing Media (The MIT Press, ISBN 0262014858), another compilation of more than 35 interviews with experts in various media, new and old, including Mark Zuckerberg, Chad Hurley, Tim Westergren, Ira Glass, Craig Newmark, Hans Rosling, and DJ Spooky. Again, Moggridge conducted the interviews, wrote the text, and designed the book and the book's website.

Film and video[edit]

Moggridge is a central figure in Gary Hustwit's 2009 documentary on design, Objectified.

In 2009, Moggridge directed and produced a short film, Professor Poubelle on YouTube, about Doug Wilde, a Stanford Professor Emeritus who began picking up trash on his daily bike rides up a steep mountain highway.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Langer, Emily (9 September 2012). "Bill Moggridge dies; designer of the first modern laptop computer was 69". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Remembering Bill". Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Kaufman, Leslie (9 September 2012). "William Moggridge, Designer and Laptop Pioneer, Dies at 69". New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2012.|
  4. ^ a b c "Bill Moggridge, Fellow". IDEO. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  5. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (6 January 2010). "Cooper-Hewitt Picks Director, First Designer in Job". New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Great and Good honour the designer of world's first laptop". The Register. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  7. ^ a b "First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates the National Design Awards with Public Programs and White House Ceremony" (Press release). Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. 25 June 2009. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Creator of world's first laptop computer wins royal Prize" (Press release). Design Council. 9 November 2010. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  9. ^ "In Remembrance of Bill Moggridge, 1943–2012". FastCompany. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b Bliss, Chris (30 March 2012). "CCA to Confer Honorary Doctorate on Design Leader Bill Moggridge at 105th Commencement Exercises". California College of the Arts. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  11. ^ a b Bill Moggridge (Speaker), Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer (Sponsors) (26 March 2012). Integrated Product Design Lecture (1:16:42 video of lecture with slides). Meyerson Hall, University of Pennsylvania: The University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  12. ^ Toaster designed by Bill Moggridge for Hoover UK, 1970 – via ResearchGate.
  13. ^ Glenn Edens, Carol Hankins, Craig Mathias, Dave Paulsen (Panelists, GRiD founders), John Markoff (Moderator) (15 March 2006). Pioneering the Laptop – The GRiD Compass (90-minute video of panel discussion with slides about GRiD Systems origins). Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California: Computer History Museum. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  14. ^ Trescott, Jacqueline (7 January 2010). "Laptop designer Bill Moggridge will head the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt museum". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Our Team". Stanford Design Program. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Faculty". Stanford Center for Work, Technology & Organization. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Faculty". Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  18. ^ "CONNECTING'07 WORLD DESIGN CONGRESS". Icsid. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  19. ^ a b c "Bill Moggridge FIDSA (1943–2012)". IDSA. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  20. ^ Interaction Design Institute Ivrea
  21. ^ "Knowledge Exchange". Royal College of Art. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  22. ^ "Board". Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  23. ^ "Bill Moggridge". AIGA. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  24. ^ Lustig, Jessica (October 2011). "Mister Moggridge Has Mad Ambition". FastCompany. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  25. ^ "50 Most Influential Designers in America (interactive chart)". FastCompany. Archived from the original on 29 May 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  26. ^ "The RSA: Current Designers for Industry". Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Archived from the original on 27 August 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  27. ^ "Businessweek Best Innovation and Design Books for 2006". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  28. ^ "Designing Interactions – Reviews". Retrieved 9 September 2012.

Further reading[edit]