"Architects, especially those who do their own brief preparation or programming, often find themselves in direct communication with individuals, social groups, and organisations who use their design products. Such communication serves a number of purposes. The one which concerns us in this paper is that of generating theory about man-environment relations, for application to immediate design problems and possible generalisations for future situations. We define this theory-generating involvement between designers and users as "design research". The aim of this paper is to discuss the nature of design research in practice as we have experienced it, and to assess its value in comparison with other forms of research, with particular reference to the following criteria: • effectiveness in producing theory which can be applied to the solution of design problems; • respectability; that is, its ability to transcend purely commercial or proprietory objectives; • science; whether and in what sense it may be regarded as scientific."