Cooper-Hewitt Director Moggridge Dies




Date: September 8, 2012


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  • William Moggridge, director Cooper-Hewitt, the National Design Museum, died September 8, 2012, at a hospice in San Francisco. Moggridge was a British industrial designer who was credited with creating the clamshell form of the modern laptop, an innovation that helped transform the computer from a desk-bound behemoth to a ubiquitous, go-everywhere part of daily life. Under his leadership, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum began to enhance its exhibition and visitor facilities through a plan that will increase exhibition space by 60 percent, create a new National Design Library, restore the Carnegie Mansion's historic structure and accommodate growth of its permanent collection with a new off-site collection-storage and conservation facility. Moggridge ensured that Cooper-Hewitt remained highly visible and engaged with the public during its renovation on both national and international platforms. Exhibitions were staged at the United Nations and Governors Island in New York, the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center opened in Harlem in May 2012 to bring design programming to an underserved community and his popular "Bill's Design Talk" series was held at The Greene Space and webcast to the world. Bill also expanded Cooper-Hewitt's touring program. In the Fall of 2012, the museum will travel exhibitions to Los Angeles, St. Louis, Portland, Ore., and Paris.
  • Moggridge was co-founder of IDEO (1991), the renowned innovation and design firm. He pioneered interaction design and integrated human factors into the design of computer software and hardware. He had long been a spokesperson for the value of design in everyday life, writing books, producing videos, giving presentations and teaching. Moggridge graduated from the Central School of Design in London and quickly became a sought-after expert in the design community. He served as an advisor to the British government on design education, a trustee of the Design Museum in London, a visiting professor in interaction design at the Royal College of Art in London and member of the Steering Committee for the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy. He authored Designing Media, which examines the connections between traditional mainstream media and the emerging digital realm, and Designing Interactions, which explores how interaction design is transforming daily life.
  • Deputy Director Caroline Baumann is named the acting director of the museum.


  • Moggridge, Bill 1943-2012
  • Baumann, Caroline
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • IDEO (Firm)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • "Bill Moggridge dies; designer of the first modern laptop computer was 69," by Emily Langer, The Washington Post, September 9, 2012.
  • Message from the Secretary, Cooper-Hewitt Director Moggridge has passed away, Smithsonian Email Announcement, September 10, 2012.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


September 8, 2012


  • Design
  • Directors
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Deaths
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees
  • Museum directors


New York (N.Y.)

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