Community Collaboration, Experimenting with Creativity
The Mirror Project and The Barnstar Subterfuge have been intriguing online collaborative projects. They both ask the online community to contribute something within a certain parameter while encouraging creative brainstorming.
The Mirror Project describes itself as "an adventure in reflective surfaces." This wonderfully creative, fun, and inspiring project quite unknowingly began in 1986 when Heather Champ took a photo with a friend of hers in front of a mirror. Over time Heather took many more photos in front of a mirror, and eventually digitized them and put them up on a Web site, Jezebel’s Mirror. She now has over 500 mirror photos at Jezebel’s Mirror in addition to countless hundreds of photos from all over the world at The Mirror Project.
Creativity abounds throughout the pages of the Mirror Project. Sit back with your favorite beverage and peruse The Mirror Project photos. The variety of photos is mind-boggling, from whimsical and humorous to serious and sad, from a typical bathroom mirror scene to a distorted reflection in a saucepan or a round Christmas ornament to a car’s rear view mirror. Each one is different, unique, and interesting.
If you have "a self-portrait photograph of yourself that you’ve taken in a mirror or reflective surface," you’re invited to submit it to The Mirror Project. More information is available at the site for the submissions.
The Barnstar Subterfuge has been an early summer experiment by the artful dodge, a special feature from the design culture network. They’ve invited people to use a specific element, the barnstar image, somewhere within a design on the Web.
"The 'subterfuge' is a simple little exercise in collaboration and subversion. In the course of all of our work-a-day lives we post pages for commercial sites that we have designed and built. During the creative process we often make arbitrary decisions about shapes and decorative elements to include. We thought it might be interesting to suggest a shape that designers would adapt and 'hide' in some of their commercial work...
"What’s most interesting to us is the meeting of the personal design space with the commercial one as well as an opportunity to illicit response from a wide variety of designers from all over the world."
There’s a listing of links at the artful dodge where you’ll see some amazingly creative uses of this simple barnstar image. They’re not accepting more submissions for this experiment as they’re preparing for the next one.
Do you know of any other collaborative projects like this? I’d love to know!