This paper emphasizes the need for bridging the gap between designers' intentions and their predicted and actual outcomes in the design and production of residential environments. It summarizes a conceptual review, which includes the discussion of theoretical issues in mass housing design, the possible solutions to the problem put forward by researchers in the past and new explanations which emerge from the analytic examination of the literature. It follows from the notion that research and practice are part of the same process of making better environments. That is, findings from evaluative studies should be fed back into the process of design so as to result in residential environments more responsive to the desires and expectations of its users. Although this argument might seem quite obvious, evidence shows that actual cooperation between research and practice does not occur effectively. The different views identified in the literature as attempting to 'bridge the gap' in the production of residential environments are grouped into three approaches: (1) the social gap, that is, the group which claims the need to understand the users specific cultural background to enable the creation of projects that reflect users culture and values; (ii) the group which claims that user participation is the answer to the administrative gap that exists in the design process; (iii) the group which looks for answers to the holistic conceptual gap, based on post_occupancy evaluation transfer strategy. Discussion about the differences between the approaches in seeking to answer the question of how design could increase the probability of success are the key subject of this paper.