I think web design is not different than any other technology aesthetic, and there are trends that form from successful standouts being copied, but through a slight overcompensation, which then builds upon the trend. For instance bell bottom jeans--first a designer had a slightly wide cut, which proved original, and then the next season 5 other designers did the same but wider. And so on, until after a couple years, bell bottoms were super wide and a designer came up with a peg leg and that "reset" the trend. You can see this in other forms of art/technology/culture --> ford explorer, brings the jeep cherokee, brings the cadillac and then the hummer to be reset by the mini or prius.
OK. . . so the question I have, is how might these sort of trend cycles manifest in web design?