I'm attending Design Engaged in November, at which I'll be wringing yet more out of the adaptive design theme, remixing my earlier 'Designing for Hackability' presentation with some thoughts from my recent research trip to the US.
I'm dubbing this practice of building around your immediate context 'self-centred design' (after a suggestion from m'colleague Andrew McGrath of Orange) which is not at all intended in a uniformly pejorative sense - I'm seeing it as an alternative to user-centred design (UCD). I presented this idea - a small step forward from the hackability presentation - at a UCD seminar in San Francisco. I'll be trying to suggest an ideal relationship between the processes involved in self-centred design (aka, to a certain extent, situated software or amateurized design) and the deep insight enabled by grounded ethnographic research ... If both can lead to the creation of products which enable adaptive design, I think we're getting somewhere.
If this sounds cryptic at this stage, that's because I'm still working on it. Hopefully all will become clear! More to follow.