I wrote recently on A List Apart about finding and working with creative communities. Too often in the Western design world, we hear that design is stale, or has become homogenous.
This view views creative communities, essentially, as pools of user-generated content, that freely available content is there to be mined and the best ideas repackaged for profit. This is idea as commodity, and it very conveniently strips out the people doing the creating, instead looking at their conceptual and design work as a resource.
But another way of thinking is to view creative networks as interdependent networks of people. By nature, they cannot be resources, and any work put into the community is to sustain and nourish those human connections, not create assets. The focus is on contributing. How you build connections among other creative people makes you part of the network. See them, however ephemeral and globally distributed, as a powerful way to expand your design horizons and be part of something different.
Read the whole article at ALA!