When Pasi Lallinaho first announced the project on the Xubuntu Developer mailinglist he wrote:
...The reasoning behind setting up a separate group rose from my and Steves disappointment in the somewhat cold and dismissing acts of the DX (Desktop Experience) team, which lead us to do more and more work to fix things that we hadn't broken. We feel really bad that Canonical is making design decisions with only GNOME in scope and don't want to handle with fixing (in our opinion) their design flaws. Yet another thing that clearly became a burden too big is the Canonical half-yearly release schedule. With our new project we will be free of any other than our own schedules...
Our IRC channel is #shimmer on freenode. All of you are welcome to join us. Besides Pasi Lallinaho, the team consists of Steve Dodier, James Schriver, Simon Steinbeiß and myself. A hardcore team and I'm honored to have been invited to join them.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what this project will bring to the Free Software world.