The author questions how we can conceive a very complex and burdened territory with an oppressive imaginary which strongly affects the way in which we observe it. Such question occurred when she began a course about one of the most stigmatized French housing estates: the 4000 sud of La Courneuve. How to make and support a reflection with students and residents without falling into the utopia of tabula rasa or invoking the demiurgic role of the architect? This paper aims to describe the process through which students have been pushed to re-direct their view, introducing some deviations in their interpretations and, through the production of false documentaries, assuming a planning role in the elaboration of a participation game.
Keywords: Outskirts; housing estate; imaginary; methodology; project; urban planning