The question which drives this paper is whether collaboration is equivalent to or anything like participation as it was envisioned by the early work which promoted consideration of the user in the solution of design problems. First, the environment, which led to Wicked Problem Theory (Rittel 1970; Rittel and Webber 1969) and the development of methods to support argument and participation, will be discussed. Second, I will review the literature on collaboration as a tool for promoting creativity in the design process. Third, I will explore the continued relevance and implications of the properties of Wicked Problem Theory as it relates to creative collaboration and whether this is participation as Rittel envisioned it. Wicked Problems (I will enumerate only a few of the characteristics here) cannot be defined without simultaneously solving them. Even when solved they tend not to remain solved, but, rather, erupt in unexpected ways. Solutions to wicked problems tend to be symptomatic of other unforeseen problems. The knowledge needed to resolve, therefore, wicked problems is distributed in unknowable ways—no one knows who knows best. It is this last characteristic of Wicked Problems that led Rittel and others to develop methods that encouraged argument, doubt and, most important to this discussion, participation. Issues Based Information Systems, IBIS, for example, was developed as a method to encourage transparent argument and participation. Participation by all who may be affected by a solution, not just those who are designing the solution—the professional designers.Recently, there has been great interest in the development of methods to promote collaboration among professional designers. While the immediate intention seems to promote interconnectivity among the various disciplines involved in the solution of design problems, there is some indication that collaboration can promote creativity as well. Wicked Problem Theory suggests that design is essentially done in the imagination in two phases: the generation of alternatives and the reduction of alternatives--thinking of as many solutions as possible and reducing them all to the one or two best. It is in the generation of alternative solutions--quantity of production-- that design, as a problem solving activity, tends to reflect the research in creativity in interesting ways. This, however, is not a collaborative activity. It is individual in nature. While there is a great deal of literature on the methods to support creativity in individuals, there is much less on methods to support creativity in groups--collaboration. There is nothing in the literature to suggest that collaboration extends to the user or to those others that may be affected by a solution derived from the collaborative process.Methods to support participation were developed to enhance the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Collaboration is an activity involving the relegation and control of power.