Bill Moggridge, IDEO co-founder and director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum , died last week at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer. Moggridge, a graduate of the Central School of Design in London, and the recipient of honors such as the 2010 Prince Philip Designers Prize and 2009 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, was a leader in interactive design, and is perhaps best known as the designer of the first laptop computer, the 1982 Grid Compass.
Among his colleagues and friends, Moggridge will be remembered not only for a career studded with accomplishments and accolades, but also for his pioneering spirit and what IDEO partner and creative director Jane Fulton-Suri calls a “purely human approach” to design.
Says Jake Barton of LocalProjects , the media design firm currently developing innovative media and storytelling approaches for the Cooper-Hewitt as part of Moggridge’s renovation and expansion of the museum, “I was blown away by how engaged, curious, and inspiring he was as a design leader and thinker. [He had] an almost mischievous desire to take things apart and put them back together in different, unorthodox, and special ways.” The new Cooper-Hewitt will reopen in 2014, with the remainder of the transformation to be overseen by acting director Caroline Baumann.
Muses Fulton-Suri of her over-twenty-year tenure working with Moggridge, “One of his greatest gifts was as a communicator; he was a great story-teller, and was always facile at bringing visual imagery to mind. This made him a great educator. I would consider him—as I think many would—to be one of my primary mentors.”