Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012.
September 9, 2012 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012 "I think it's always wise to remember to use the dirtiest method you possibly can at the time. Use the quickest thing and the simplest thing for the stage you're at." Bill Moggridge, designer, co-founder of IDEO and director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, died after a battle with cancer on September 8 2012.

Born in Britain and a graduate of Central St Martins School of Art and Design, Moggridge is perhaps best-known as the lead industrial designer for the first clamshell laptop, the Grid Compass 1101, which was designed in 1979 and released in 1982 at a price of $8150. The Grid, aimed at high-level executives and government operatives, found its way into military and scientific uses, and was taken into space during Space Shuttle missions.

(GRiD Systems Corporation, one of Silicon Valley's first stealth startups, also created a stylus-driven tablet, and a "convertible" laptop-tablet hybrid. It was bought by Tandy in 1988, and the brand survives as a producer of ruggedized systems for military uses.)

In 1991, Moggridge's design consultancy, id Two, merged with David Kelley Design (creators of the first Apple mouse) and Matrix Product Design to form the IDEO product design agency. IDEO products included the Palm V for 3Com, which prioritized slenderness and screen size, and introduced a cradle-charging lithium-ion battery to the handheld device.

Moggridge took up the directorship of the Cooper-Hewitt in March 2010 - the Museum has put up a memorial site. He delivered the 2010 Cooper-Hewitt keynote, "What is Design?". Fast Company profiled his plans for the museum in their October 2011 issue.

Often identified as the father of interaction design, Moggridge wrote Designing Interactions, and a follow-up, Designing Media..
posted by running order squabble fest (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
And because he was the form giver to the first laptop computer, they invited him to open the CHI 25th Anniversary conference in San Jose, whose theme was "Reach Beyond..." and look forward to the next 25 years of human computing.

He was a courtly, kind and generous man. Like a big teddy bear and a friendly face. The first time I met him, I'd sprained my ankle badly the week before, and it was raining by the time I got to Palo Alto on the train. He carried an umbrella over my head, pacing himself to my slow limp. Later, after I'd gotten to know him better, he was one of the last people to meet with me when I was leaving the country - talking design, saying I shouldn't leave, and accepting my raving rant. Ah well, regrets are a dime a dozen but connections can still be made.

I was stunned when I found out earlier today. It took me back to a complicated time in my life, back to design in an era that's now passed. I can't seem to separate it from my feelings about this news.

Thank you for your twinkling eyes and warm smile, Bill. Rest in Peace.
posted by infini at 10:53 AM on September 9, 2012 [4 favorites]

He was my manager and mentor at IDEO. Such a lovely man. All the above holds true.

Thanks for keeping me straight Bill.
posted by marvin at 11:07 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by Smart Dalek at 11:09 AM on September 9, 2012

He - and IDEO - have given the idea of human centred design a massive positive boost.
posted by rongorongo at 11:24 AM on September 9, 2012

One of my biggest inspirations in design school and beyond. That's a big void in the world.

posted by a halcyon day at 12:32 PM on September 9, 2012

posted by Sreiny at 12:44 PM on September 9, 2012

posted by TheDonF at 1:17 PM on September 9, 2012

posted by oulipian at 1:37 PM on September 9, 2012

We stand on the shoulders of giants indeed.

posted by qwip at 1:43 PM on September 9, 2012

posted by notclosed at 1:56 PM on September 9, 2012

posted by briank at 2:27 PM on September 9, 2012

posted by thebestsophist at 7:08 AM on September 10, 2012

« Older Strange New Worlds   |   Metafilter: Part of a healthy breakfast Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments