British designer Bill Moggridge dies at 69

Noted industrial designer, Bill Moggridge died Saturday in San Fransisco. His death was announced by the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, which he directed since 2010.

Moggridge set the very standard early on for laptop design and was lightyears ahead of everyone in this regard. When he left his native London in the late 1970s, he settled in California in the the Silcon Valley. There he developed the GRiD Compass, a portable computer shaped like a clamshell that was a mere eight pounds, ighter than most desktops. It’s novel feature was its hinged construction, which allowed it to be folded up keyboard and all iinside a briefcase. With its steep price tag of $8,000 it never took off commercially, but it was adopted by the government and used on the space shuttle missions.

More than a laptop designer, Moggridge’s influence was huge. He was a successful designer of toasters, refrigerators and appliances in London and stateside he was the cofounder of IDEO, an international innovation and design firm that created products for such companies as Proctor & Gamble, Microsoft and yes, Apple. His contribution to computer is felt by all of us, as Moggridge famously addressed the computers’s interface with humans making them more user-friendly.

He will be missed!

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