CSM Alumnus Bill Moggeridge dies

Bill Moggeridge, an Industrial Design graduate, pioneer of the discipline of interaction design, and co founder of IDEO, one of the world’s most influential design firms has died aged 69.

Current students and staff at CSM may not realise their indebtedness to Bill Moggridge, a graduate of the college, whose death was announced on September 8th. When Bill arrived at the Central School of Art and Design (as it was then called) in the early 1960’s, design practice was still dominated by the concept of good form and technical problem solving. Today we take it for granted that a product is the tip of an experiential iceberg, running from satisfying interactions to effective services and sustainable cities.

As a product designer Bill will probably best be remembered for the GRID Compass, one of the earliest portable computers conceived in 1979 and produced from 1981. Looking back, the hinged screen arrangement gave birth to a new archetype: the laptop.

However Bill’s greatest achievement may be as the co-founder of the international design consultancy Ideo. Since 1991 Ideo has demonstrated in a business context – as opposed to academia- the value of an expanded notion of human factors. While the Bauhaus went back to basics by exploring the innate capacities of materials, Ideo has used ethnography, user workshops etc, to identify previously unrecognised human capacities and needs.

As a personality Bill was a natural co-designer, networker and catalyst. His seminal book Designing Interactions (2007) shaped the new human centred approach into a coherent movement.

In 2010 when America’s leading design museum – the Cooper-Hewitt – set out to re-align itself with the new paradigm, it turned to Bill Moggridge. His last appointment was as museum director.

We salute this lifetime dedication to the development of design.

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