This was a note I sent to Bill before he passed … it summed it up for me. I attempted some levity and optimism, no closure here —his gifts and wisdom live on.
Hi Bill (and Karin),
I hear you are in quite a fight. I’m glad you are back in our adopted sunny California. In fact, I was talking to a young designer today, reminiscing, and I found myself telling him about how your phone call back in the summer of 1987 is the reason I am out here. Then, how fate would take it from there — now, finding myself with a beautiful family and a nifty way of making a living from home … yeah, I did say “nifty” :-)
I also told him about your advice to ‘disconnect’ as a problem solver, and about how generous you were in the creative process — both have helped me to be better over the years. You also always managed to find a skill or trait to hail in people. I enjoyed being called on by you, even just for some nice sketches.
Then, upon leaving IDEO, when I was seeking my less ambitious path, you had some encouraging words: “a balanced life is its own reward” … which is practically my motto now. (Well that, and … “never waste a good opportunity to nap”.)
Thinking of you.
Your loyal employee and friend,
submitted by Chris Loew
I first met you twenty-five years ago in your London Office. I later had an opportunity to work with IDEO in Japan and San Francisco and you taught me that designing really requires love and care.
When I decided to leave design work and Japan to study management, you gave me heartfelt encouragement and wrote me a wonderful recommendation letter. In London Business School, I was blessed to learn what design management is from you and how a designing mind is important in all aspects of business even when one is not working as a designer. All your teaching has been my asset to this date.
Thank you for welcoming me to your home in the United States and in London. Thank you also for empowering me with your warm smile when I was heart-broken and down. Bill, when think of your blue eyes, it makes me miss you even more. Thank you and I shall see you again. I look forward to that day…
submitted by Chitose
Potsdam 30.03.2007 11:20; Bill Moggridge , INNOVATIONSFORM INTERKTIONSDESIGN – Ein Kongress der Interaktionsspezialisten in Deutschland – Danke für die Impulse und den Bericht auch über Doug Engelbart, Entwickler der Computermaus. Großartige Präsentation, liebenswerter Kollge.
submitted by Bernd Schröder (VDID)
As a student of Industrial design circa 1987-1990 at Central School of Art and Design (latterly Central St Martin’s) I intuitively adored the work of Moggrdige associates & ID two. Then circa 1995 I met Bill (once), I was in IDEO’s Kentish Town Modelstudio, I was on my knees- labouring away at some prototypes for a Steelcase Strafor video, Bill walked in, cheerily, observed progress and mentioned something about how long it takes to embed a concept/pitch within a commercial….15 seconds as I recall.
Later on after work was finished we all retreated to the local “acid yellow pub” (Quinns) and Bill was there (most likely jet lagged) just sitting observing -soaking up the atmosphere.- just as designers should.
In hindsight, our earlier interaction lasted about 15 seconds-his concept as a design leader/thinker/sage has been embedded as part of my practice as a designer and educator ever since.
submitted by Andrew Forkes
Bill kindly keynoted our WORKTECH event in New York. His talk was inspirational.
submitted by Isabel Dewhurst-Marks
I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for the life of this man that I never met. He made it possible for me to dream about impacting the world through Design, something that seems unlikely to do as Design is only now, in the 21st Century, receiving the attention that deems it important to the lives of people. The late Bill’s books have been an eye opener to me and millions around the world. His Stanford Lectures were an eye opener to millions around the world. He really is a light that shone on the Earth and inspires me to rise to the task of influencing the lives of many positively through design.
Bill. I am thankful for you though I never met you. It is sad you will never know that you changed my life forever through your gracious gift. May you have safe passage to the place laid out for you. I am grateful you lived, hopefully someone else will be as grateful when I am no more. Goodbye Bill.
submitted by Michael Muli
I worked for Bill while he was the Director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in NYC. He was a great leader and always a joy to be around. He will be missed.
As his IT Manager — and me not having a design bone in my body — he would always ask me in passing, “Are you thinking design today?”
That was Bill, a true innovator.
submitted by Jimpson Pell
I remember going to the IDSA conference in San Francisco back in ’07. When I talked my company into paying for me to attend, I said I do not need a hotel as I would drive up every day (2 hours each way from Santa Cruz).
Hearing Bill each morning really set the day up to justify whatever people did to get there each day. We all looked like something the cat dragged in but after Bill spoke the room lit up.
He will be missed by all of us.
submitted by Allen Young
I met Bill when he visited Chile in 2007, referring to the meeting of ICSID Design Project, Fifth Latin American Regional Meeting. On december 11, Bill gave his lecture, after the end of his presentation, we talked for over an hour about, design, education, of his own life and his beginnings as a designer. It was a very pleasant conversation of the past, present and how to build a better future for people and with the people through design. Thanks Bill.
submitted by Luis López Toledo
It is with great sadness to learn of Bill’s departure from our world of design. What a wonderful, open, inclusive, sharing mind.
ID2 and RichardsonSmith first enjoyed a joint project with Black and Decker in ’84, then as advisor to my chairing of the ’85 ICSID/IDSA WORLDESIGN CONGRESS in Wash DC. Next, in’87, ID2 brought all their designers to the RichardsonSmith Design Campus for a week seminar. It was exciting, filled with optimism, futures focused with challenges. Both firms were committed to raising the design bar for excellence in problem solving processes. What a gift for us all to experience at that event. He led our design profession into the 21st century. He helped reshape the borders of our design profession future. He challenged us to excel beyond expectations. He shared his unique “design-thinking-and-doing” processes with students and professionals. He enabled new priorities for future designers. What an exciting and rewarding life-journey experience.
Bill, as a friend and mentor, you are already missed.
—Deane W. Richardson, FIDSA, ICSID Senator, co-founder RicharsonSmith, chairman emeritus FitchRichardsonSmith
submitted by Deane W. Richardson
A scene from an organizing meeting at IDEO in San Francisco for IDSA’s CONNECTING’07 conference.
submitted by Theodore R. Kucklick