The opportunity to observe five families simulate full scale models of their future houses in the Laboratory for Architectural Experimentation has been instructive. This experience has provided the opportunity to study the ideas and the intentions of the users. This text presents one part of a larger study which analyses the relationship be tween the ideas of the users and those of the architects. In the study the meaning and the intended use of the hou ses has been analysed as it was expressed during the si mulation process, and during a subsequent interview. In this text particular emphasis is given to those objects and built features which the users adopted as structuring elements or indices to design spaces in their future hou se. This process of design can then be compared with that adopted by architects.