This paper is a contribution to the discussion on the ethical and political limitations of institutionalised, dominant design practices and on the need to rethink the ways in which they operate. It points out that institutionalised design processes act as a dispositive of power that not only capture and colonise forms of life, but that also shape territories, bodies and languages through normative models that are exogenous to them. This discussion is crucial when thinking about the role that design has played in nurturing current crises. This paper is an inquiry into the possibility of design practice that is not institutionalised either by sovereign designing designers or by subordinated designed users, but that constitutes itself according to dynamics where design emerges as a common project-process of creative possibilities of being and becoming. Crucial aspects for a non-institutionalised design practice are identified through the analysis of a design experience with communities in Rio de Janeiro favelas. This paper shows how this design experience is based on a design approach that, through discursive structures, dynamically supports and is informed by dissent and consensus, and by the interplay between resistance and counter-resistance.