Obit> Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012

Obit> Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012

“Few people think about it or are aware of it. But there is nothing made by human beings
that does not involve a design decision somewhere.”
-Bill Moggridge

Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and an outspoken advocate for the value of design in everyday life, died September 8th, 2012, following a battle with cancer. He was 69. Designer of the first laptop computer and co-founder of the renowned innovation and design firm, IDEO, Bill pioneered interaction design and integrated human factors into the design of computer software and hardware.

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

“All of us at the Smithsonian mourn the loss of a great friend, leader and design mind,” said Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough. “In his two short years as director of Cooper-Hewitt, Bill transformed the museum into the Smithsonian’s design lens on the world, and we are forever grateful for his extraordinary leadership and contributions.”

In those two years Cooper-Hewitt saw record exhibition attendance, an increase in digital access to the collection and new efforts to bring design education to K-12 classrooms. He worked with Diller Scofidio + Renfro to reimagine the museum visit as a participatory experience with an innovative interactive design component and led the museum’s $54 million expansion and restoration program. Bill’s legacy lives on in “his innovative vision for the future of the museum [that] will be realized upon reopening,” said Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture. “His foresight will impact museum visitors and design thinkers of tomorrow. He will be greatly missed.”

Learn more about Bill and his life’s work at the Cooper-Hewitt website.