UK laptop designer Bill Moggridge dies

Bill Moggridge Bill Moggridge patented the "clamshell" design still used in many computer laptops

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Bill Moggridge, a British industrial designer who created the original computer laptop shape, has died.

Mr Moggridge died from cancer at the age of 69.

His computer, the Grid Compass, was designed in 1979 and initially used by the American military. It retailed at $8,150 (£5,097) and was installed on board the space shuttle Discovery.

The magnesium-cased device was distinctive because the screen display folded down over the keyboard.


Mr Moggridge founded a London-based design company in 1969, which is now a global consultancy firm called Ideo.

He also became visiting professor in interaction design at the Royal College of Art in London and consulting associate professor in design at Stanford University, California.

Mr Moggridge wrote two books, Designing Media and Designing Interactions.

In 2010 he was given a lifetime achievement award by the Duke of Edinburgh.

He told BBC News at the time he was "astonished" to receive the prize, which had previously been awarded to Sir James Dyson, Terence Conran and Lord Norman Foster.

Mr Moggridge had been director of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York since 2010.

"Beloved by the museum staff and the design community at large, Bill touched the lives of so many through his wise counsel, boundary-pushing ideas and cheerful camaraderie," said associate director Caroline Baumann in a statement.

Mr Moggridge is survived by his wife, Karin, and sons, Alex and Erik.

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