This article reviews current methodologies for the design of development projects and identifies foundational reasons for conflict between design approaches and participatory methods. A number of alternative approaches to the design of interventions in social systems are examined, and the potential application of some of these new ideas within a visioning process that is based on communicative rationality is explored. We conclude that there are many problems to be overcome before describing a complete design methodology which moves away from the objectivist basis of existing design systems, and that the new approach will need to address power relationships and the consequent and interrelated problems of accountability and trust.
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