September 10, 2012

Cooper-Hewitt Director Bill Moggridge Dies at Age 69

Bill Moggridge (1943-2012)

Bill Moggridge (1943-2012)

Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

in New York since 2010, died September 8 at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer. As Cooper-Hewitt’s fourth director, Moggridge led the museum to the highest exhibition attendance numbers ever on record. He also designed the first laptop computer, the 1982 Grid Compass, and co-founded the renowned innovation and design firm


in 1991.

“Beloved by the museum staff and the design community at large, Bill touched the lives of so many through his wise council, boundary-pushing ideas and cheerful camaraderie,” said Caroline Baumann, associate director of the museum. “A true team builder and convener by nature, his efforts at Cooper-Hewitt and throughout the design world will be forever remembered.”

A graduate of the

Central School of Design

in London, Royal Designer for Industry, 2010 winner of the Prince Philip Designers Prize, and 2009 winner of Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, Moggridge is responsible for spearheading the museum’s ongoing renovation, expansion, and enhancement.

Under Moggridge’s leadership, Cooper-Hewitt is working with

Diller Scofidio + Renfro

on the reconceptualization, transformation, and creation of immersive museum spaces and memorable visitor experiences.

Local Projects

, a media design firm, is developing innovative media and storytelling approaches to content delivery. The new Cooper-Hewitt will reopen in 2014.

Moggridge succeeded Paul Thompson, who was Cooper-Hewitt’s director for eight years. Baumann will serve as the acting director.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Karin, and two sons, Alex and Erik.

Recent DesignWire