In recent years concern has risen about the potential of China as a global design superpower and the threat of China becoming a design source for the west, threatening the livelihood of thousands of designers and designers-to-be in the US and Europe.
Perhaps this is the inevitable evolution of the design profession where the creative input becomes a commodity with no real lasting value beyond it seasonal life span. Or perhaps this broadens the gap between design as a commodity and great design that is driven by context.
While working at the World Bank as a Knowledge Analyst in the late 90s I witnessed a significant change in how knowledge was amassed and applied for greatest impact. Previously, the emphasis had been on certain individuals, those remarkable people recognized for their exceptional experience and acumen. However, aided by collaborative technology, communities of professionals brought their collective know-how to bear on difficult issues and they achieved extraordinary results.