In Sweden modernism became a leading doctrine in housing and town-planning as part of the welfare policy of the Swedish Social_Democratic party. An important part of the Swedish model was to develop state-supported people-environment research, which was used for direct implementation all over the country. Early such studies were started already in the 1940s at the Home Research Institute (later the Consumer Institute). The kitchen studies carried out in this institute lead to the standardization of fittings for kitchens in both one-family and block apartment housing. Later the Building Research Institute and the schools of architecture were given ample resources to develop the field of people-environment studies. In this paper the question is asked to what extent people_environment research should be seen as part of the modernism doctrine and what such a causal relationship might have meant for the theoretical development of this research. Special attention is given to the problems of integrating people-environment studies at the schools of architecture, where a positivist social science perspective came into conflict with traditional concepts of the architect as the cheif artist. It is also discussed what the down-fall of modernism in architecture has meant for people-environment studies today, and whether new ideals about sustainability in town-planning and building design will lead to the comeback of a revised version of modernist people-environment studies or not.