The different traditions in design participation have overlooked the relationship between imagination and the political when discussing the sources of legitimacy in participatory projects. Whether it is in architecture, planning, or design, many practitioners and scholars base their approaches to participation on what we consider an artificial exclusion between the what and the how of design, respectively understood as results and procedures. We suggest that there might be an interesting opportunity in avoiding this binary opposition, and in considering the construction of the design problem as the true what of design.

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