There is a new initiative from the Canonical/Ubuntu Design Team to do a much better job communicating their thoughts, ideas and plans to the wider community. They have started a blog at http://design.canonical.com/ that I believe is worth reading regularly. Fire up your RSS feed reader and subscribe after taking a look at the wonderful foundation they have created to kick things off.
EDIT: I should mention that the main way that the Design Team communicates is via the ayatana mailing list. You can find it here: https://launchpad.net/~ayatana