Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bill Moggridge Appointed Director of Cooper-Hewitt

Through an amazingly smart choice, as of March 2010, Bill Moggridge (left) will be the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's fourth director. Moggridge, designer of the first laptop computer in 1980 and co-founder of IDEO, the renowned innovation and design firm, has a global reputation as a designer, having pioneered interaction design and integrated human factors into the design of computer software and hardware.

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.

Moggridge was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Awards at the White House in 2009. This award is given in recognition of an individual who has made a profound, long-term contribution to contemporary design practice.

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 founded his design firm in London in 1969, adding a second office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1979. In 1991, he merged his company with those of David Kelley and Mike Nuttall to form IDEO, a global design firm that has transformed design methods and culture. Today, IDEO has offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New York, London, Munich and Shanghai.

Moggridge is the author of Designing Interactions (right), published by MIT Press in October 2006, and named one of the 10 Best Innovation and Design Books of the year by BusinessWeek magazine. The book also includes a companion DVD and Web site (www.designinginteractions.com). He is currently working on a new book due out in fall 2010, Designing Media, which examines the connections between traditional mainstream media and the emerging digital realm.

Moggridge succeeds Paul Thompson, who was Cooper-Hewitt’s director for eight years until this past July when he left to become the rector (president) of the Royal College of Art in London. Caroline Baumann, the museum’s deputy director, has served as the acting director since July. As acting director, Baumann has spearheaded the museum’s RE:DESIGN expansion, the most ambitious project in Cooper-Hewitt’s history to revitalize the museum’s campus, bringing the capital campaign to 83 percent of the goal with more than $53 million raised to date. She also oversaw the 10th anniversary of the National Design Awards program.

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