Bill Moggridge, Director, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Photo: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution
GRiD Compass 1100
Photo: Don Fogg

In memory of Bill Moggridge (1943-2012)

The world of design grieves for one of its most creative minds and the father of Interaction Design. On 8 September 2012, Bill Moggridge passed away at the age of 69, following a battle with cancer – but his technical innovations and his pioneering spirit will eternise him. His career can be divided into three phases: first as a designer, later as the leader of various design teams and at last as a communicator.

In 1979, Bill Moggridge made a breakthrough when he created the design of the first laptop computer for the young start-up company Grid Systems. The “GRiD Compass 1100” was introduced into the market in April 1982 and already featured characteristics in design which can still be found in modern notebooks today. Types of this original laptop have even been used in NASA’s Space Shuttle missions. Together with David Kelley and Mike Nuttal, he founded IDEO in 1991, a design consultancy, which has been voted as one of the world’s most innovative companies by the Boston Consulting Group. In 1996, Bill Moggridge received a special reward for his long lasting achievements: as the team leader of Ideo Product Development, he was elected “Design Team of the Year `96” within the “Design-Innovationen” competition, the predecessor of the red dot award: product design.
Due to his professional expertise, especially in the field of Interaction Design, Bill Moggridge followed a call as lecturer for design at the London Business School and was also Visiting Professor for Interaction Design at the Royal College of Art in London. Since 2012, he was director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York.

Bill Moggridge and the red dot design award shared a strong relationship. In 1993, he was juror in the field of communications, media and entertainment electronics but later focused on the creative leading of design teams, which frequently succeeded within the red dot design award. Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of red dot: “He was a friend of mine and I always admired his work as a designer. One unforgettable moment is the Icsid congress in San Francisco on behalf of the organisation’s 50th anniversary. He led the congress and gave me a grand farewell as president of Icsid. His death is hard on me.”