Bill Moggridge, Designer of the First Laptop and Cooper-Hewitt Director, Wins Britain’s 2010 Prince Philip Designers Prize

November 10, 2010
News Release

Bill Moggridge, director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, was awarded the 2010 Prince Philip Designers Prize Tuesday, Nov. 9. The U.K.’s most prestigious design prize is awarded 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.

The Prince Philip Designers Prize 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 prize was first awarded in 1959 and is run by the U.K.’s Design Council; the judging panel is chaired by Prince Philip himself. Winners are selected based on the quality, originality and commercial success of their work, as well as the designer’s overall contribution to the standing of design and to design education. Nominees are put forward by professional organizations and educational establishments. “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 honored some of the best of British designers, including Sir James Dyson (1997), Sir Terence Conran (2003) and Lord Norman Foster (2004). The 2010 short list included renowned avant-garde fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood; Eva Jiricna; 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. For more information, visit the Design Council’s website at

About Bill 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.

About Britain’s Design Council

For more than 60 years the Design Council has promoted design for the public good. The council is a government agency with a Royal Charter. The Design Council shows how design can help build a stronger economy and improve everyday life through practical demonstrations and by supporting private industry and the public sector.

About the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Cooper-Hewitt is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Founded in 1897, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications.

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