This paper will discuss the usefulness to designers and planners of research which addresses itself to social episodes. This type of research has been common in European social psychology for the past ten years, but has been hardly used by environmental researchers. Social episode research attempts to analyse discreet social events in terms of the roles of the participants and the rules which govern social behaviour, using participants' own accounts of these events as primary data. The way in which this methodology can be applied to yield useful Information for designers and planners, will be dicussed with reference to a multi-national research project on office planning in which the author is currently engaged.