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Bill Moggridge

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William Grant “Bill” Moggridge (June 25, 1943 - September 8, 2012) was a British designer, author and educator who co-founded the design company IDEO and was the director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. Moggridge is best known for adopting a human-centered approach in design and for championing interaction design as a mainstream design discipline.

Moggridge studied industrial design from 1962 to 1965 at the Central School of Art and Design in London. Upon graduation, he went to the U.S. 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. However, in 1969, Moggridge returned to London to study typography and communications.

That year, Moggridge founded his first company, Moggridge Associates, in the top floor of his home. His first designer was a toaster for Hoover UK. And in 1972, he worked on his first computer project, a Mini Computer for Computer Technology Ltd, UK, that was not produced. In 1973, another Hoover UK design, for a space heater, got on the cover of a UK design magazine.

He would return to the U.S. in 1979 to open another office, though, called ID Two. The offices were first located in Palo Alto, California. An early client of the business 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 closever over the keyboard, a patented innovation that GRiD licensed for many years.

During this period. Moggridge was also teaching at 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 would co-found IDEO with Mike Nuttall and Kelley, as all four of their firms combines into one. Moggridge stayed at IDEO until 2010, when he was named an IDEO Fellow. In March 2010, Moggridge became director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City, the first person to do so without a museum background. The Cooper-Hewitt is the only museum in the U.S. devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design.

Among his achievements, Moggridge designed the first laptop computer (the GRiD Compass), honored for Lifetime Achievement from the National Design Awards and given the Prince Philip Designers Prize.

Moggridge died from cancer on September 8, 2012 at the age of 69.

In 2014, Moggridge was posthumously awarded an AIGA Medal.

Companies and Investments

IDEO (co-founder), Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (director), Moggridge Associates (founder), ID Two (founder).

CONNECTING'07 (Congress chair), Interaction Design Institute (Steering committee member), Design Museum in London (former board of trustee member), Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (board member).

Lessons Learned

1)Globalization has shown us the effect of industrialization on the world is a planetary affair. We can’t just think about designing materials, we have to include the entire planet.

2)It’s interesting that as so many things change around us, the evolution of technologies and social relationships and so on seem to change so fast. But that principle, start with people, you can rely on it.

Inspiring Quotes

Bill Moggridge's Quotes

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

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.

Bill Moggridge

Influential Books

Bill Moggridge - Designing Interactions