The skills of the designer are at once specific and general, pertaining to issues at the technical scale as well as at the cultural scale, as architects are specifically positioned to affect the built fabric. However, on the cultural scale, the negative effects of non-inclusive, top-down architecture have been documented for decades.1 The realm of architecture that is responsive to the needs of those who will be most affected by it's implications has been gaining momentum as well as popularity, with the emergence of Community Design Centers who are concerned with spatial agency as it applies to design.2 While who is deemed to be the public and what is considered to be in their interest varies, there are always power dynamics at play when a designer interacts with a group or a public client. Practitioners concerned with the effects of public architecture attempt to deal with the issues that inevitably arise in the complicated interplay between power structures and public service. The guiding question; How can architecture best be of service?, leads to a multitude more such as; who is being served? and how is that group being defined? Perhaps the most important question for the architect becomes; What is the role of the architect in a design process that aims to encourage and facilitate participation? And can community-designed projects, however effective, truly be defined as architecture if not fully designed by an architect? The practice of participatory design requires a re-framing of what is considered to be the architect's expert knowledge. As practitioners develop strategies for implementing this more engaged, transparent process, more projects are being seen that encourage user involvement and investment. Through engaging in a critique of current participatory design models and identifying areas in which they succeed as well as fail, a overview of the work currently being done in the field emerges. The identification of these issues serves as a basis for their potential resolution, both through a revised set expectations for the role of the architect as well as recommendations for a more functional process. The process is then tested through a series of scenarios which demonstrate its effectiveness while portraying a realistic set of characters and events.