When we begin a design project at O+A, I tell my designers not to start with a Pinterest page. Then they each scurry away and start one privately anyway. There is no question that Pinterest is a useful tool. It’s great to have access to all those images. But I wonder how Pinterest and Instagram and the other image-oriented sites are changing the design process—and if they’re actually changing it for the better. O+A just finished a competition for an office-design project in South America. Our concept was “Come to the Table”—the table being a symbolic and physical place to gather, to collaborate, and to trade ideas. Pinterest was a huge help in collecting images of tables and of people gathering, but when we started another folder of designs that had the feel of what we were going after, I realized we had launched our design process by looking at other people’s work. All design firms do this. It is the industry’s accepted way of working. But is it the best way? Read more at Fast Company.