Bill Moggridge, designer of the first laptop computer in 1980 and co-founder of IDEO, the renowned innovation and design firm, has been named director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, effective March 2010.
Moggridge has a global reputation as a designer, having pioneered interaction design and integrated human factors into the design of computer software and hardware.
"Bill Moggridge is an entrepreneur, innovator and visionary leader in the design world," said Smithsonian secretary Wayne Clough. "The Smithsonian and Cooper-Hewitt are poised on the edge of a new era and having Bill Moggridge as director of our national design museum offers exciting prospects for the future. I look forward to working with him."
Moggridge, 66, describes his career as having three phases, first as a designer, second as a leader of design teams and third as a communicator. For the first two decades as a designer, he developed his business internationally in 10 countries, designing high-tech products, including the Grid Compass, the first laptop computer. With the co-founding of IDEO in 1991, he turned his focus to developing practices for interdisciplinary teams and built client relationships with multinational companies. Since 2000, he has been a spokesperson for the value of design in everyday life – writing books, producing videos, giving presentations and teaching.
"This is an enormous honour and opportunity for me," said Moggridge. "It is deeply satisfying that design is being embraced today as a way to tackle many of the complex challenges facing business and society. In my new role as director of Cooper-Hewitt, I aim to communicate its impact and relevance in everyday life to inspire people's interest, understanding and engagement with all disciplines of design."
At Cooper-Hewitt, Moggridge will oversee the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. In this role, he will establish the museum as the pre-eminent national design resource, enhance its profile as one of the world's leading authorities on the role of design in everyday life and develop and present exhibitions – both real and virtual.
Moggridge succeeds Paul Thompson, who was Cooper-Hewitt's director for eight years until July 2009 when he left to become the rector of the Royal College of Art in London.