This paper puts forward a 'curatorial approach' to systems transitions, which is a novel, practical and transparent way to deal with participation in complex and conflictual contexts. We argue that the complexity of transitions cannot be adequately addressed through traditional analytical tools. Alternatively, we propose an approach that can engage with multiple ways of knowing and expression, sustaining and developing a sense of 'meaning' in the planning process. We situate this within a systems perspective that combines individual and structural actions for vision creation. This is explored in the case study of a large peri-urban asset in Rome.