Computerlove has an interesting post up tonight compliments of the smart design-writer/trendcaster, Matthew Newton. He pointed out that Complex Magazine has a 2 part mini documentary (you can view above) all about the collaborative process that holds together the Keystone Design Union (the KDU).
A year or more back the ‘Trust the KDU’ posters and type treatments were as ubiquitous as geometric design and triangles this year. They became the trumpet cry stating ‘I have arrived’. As a result, controversy is always sparked by mention of the KDU as it has become a form of validation for a lot of visual artisans and designers to be embraced by the consultancy and shielded by their umbrella. I suspect they are really just the first of what will be many collectives held together loosley by a worldwide collaborative working network connected by the internet.
Regardless if you feel outcast from the 800 members spanning 60 countries, it is an interesting model and merits attention for the innovative strategy. So long as everyone is profiting from the group effort, I don’t see why it can’t continue to work. The big question always is where does it all trace back to and who is really benefiting. I have heard good and bad things about the mastermind behind the KDU (the wizard of the KDU Oz) David Gensler, but if you are of the entrepreneurial mind, you have to admit he is pretty damned brilliant for putting this all together. It’s undeniable that there are some just downright amazingly talented people involved and he served as a catalyst.
So I say to the spurned, start your own KDU.