Director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Bill Moggridge received the prestigious design prize last night in the U.K. The award is given annually to recognize a lifetime contribution to design. As one of the pioneering designers of the 20th century, the jury, chaired by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, determined that Moggridge has been central to how design helps people understand and use technology.
“I am astonished to have been chosen when my fellow short-listed candidates have achieved such amazing work,” said Moggridge.
Moggridge designed the first laptop computer, the Grid Compass, launched in 1982. He describes his career as having three phases, first as a designer with projects for clients in 10 countries, second as a co-founder of IDEO, where he developed design methods for interdisciplinary design teams, and third as a spokesperson for the value of design in everyday life, writing, presenting and teaching —supported by the historical depth and contemporary reach of Cooper-Hewitt.
The Prince Philip Designers Prize was first awarded in 1959 and is Britain’s longest-running design award. It recognizes designers for raising the status of design and improving everyday life by turning ideas into commercial reality.
“The Prince Philip Prize provides a timely reminder that Britain is a nation of innovative, sometimes maverick thinkers," said David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council. "Celebrating those talents is a vital part of inspiring the next generation of world-changing designers, innovators and creators.”
The prize has previously honored British designers including Sir James Dyson (1997), Sir Terence Conran (2003) and Lord Norman Foster (2004). The 2010 shortlist included renowned avant-garde fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood; Eva Jirinca; Zaha Hadid, architect of the London 2012 Olympics Aquatic Centre; and Burberry’s chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. This year the judges decided to also award three Special Commendations to Westwood, graphic designer Neville Brody and furniture designer John Makepeace.
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