Although Thomas Thwaites is a masters graduate of the Royal College of Art Design Interactions, and considers himself a Designer (of a more speculative sort), it seems to me that he’s just a very curious fellow.
My thought is that Thomas’ toaster building project illustrates two main truths:
1) As a civilization with a variety of cultures, we’re all slave to existing technology. Our knowledge is technology dependent. Go ahead, try building a toaster from scratch. Try and build anything from scratch for that matter; how about a tooth brush or a pencil?
Allen Kay‘s definition of Technology: anything that wasn’t around when you were born.
2) The second and in my opinion the more salient point is, that while we may not be able to build a pencil from scratch, we can find something with which we can draw; we can toast bread, and we can clean our teeth. All of this can be done if we remain creative at the core.
It’s easy to be obsessed with building a toaster and forget that all we need is toasted bread.