Daniela Rosner, Jonathan Bean
In 1901, Australia's prime minister, Edmund Barton, asked citizens to design the country's first national flag. The winning selection combined elements of the British flag, visible in many of the more than 30,000 entries submitted. According to historian Carol Fowley , many Australians remain unconvinced of the appropriateness of this design. Is poor design—even mediocrity—the inevitable result of the crowdsourced design process? In 1994, artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid developed a project called "The Most Wanted Paintings on the Web," in which they surveyed 3,001 people's impressions of artwork posted online. Their result: Most prefer landscapes. This was…
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