I RESIST CONTEXTUALISING myself by work and by home. That's actually a big problem I need to solve.
Clever productivity software now seeks a context for to-do items, often by automatically recording a physical location for a task that I set on a GTD timeline. But I also know that who I am and what I do often resists proper contextual descriptions. Part of that limitation arises because I work in creative space and that space is constantly evolving.
When creative designers like George Watson (he designed the toaster in the photo) put their minds to redefining objects and functions, you often get something minimalist or even skeletal. In my own work, some of those skeletal frameworks make my overall productivity look absent of meaningful results. And that has to change.
Back to my toaster moment. The inventer George Watson says, "There has been little development of the toaster" since the mid-1900s. I think of the Watson Glide Toaster when I put two slices into our four-year-old toaster at home. In the context of making morning toast, it should be possible to incorporate new technology and design thinking to get a result like that in the photo.
We still use our toaster as a social object. We insert different kinds of bread for various guests. But the toaster isn't at the centre of the table--like it was when I was growing up in Pennsylvania. Ours is in the darkest corner of the kitchen, almost hidden from view.
In this Age of Context, little devices like toasters should engage people. And that's possible when they become more interactive. Watson's "toaster is designed to engage the user, re-invigorating the social context of toasting by questioning everything about what we toast with today."
See Designboom for more on George Watson's toaster. Follow Robert Scoble for an inside view of the Age of Context.