A framework for studying the transactions between people and their sociophysical environment is proposed which tries to avoid the determinism or reductionism of socio-psychological and architectural theories. The sociophysical system is described as a unity of place, activity and relations, and we cannot understand none of these without considering them in relation to the others. This 'triad' functions in the broader context of sociocultural norms. As relations are part of the system, analysis on the level of individual will not be sufficient - we have to ascend to the level of social unit as well. Place and relations seem to be relatively stable parts of this system, and activity - the dynamic one. Nevertheless, we can speak about 'behavioral lifestyles' of different social units. The necessity of longitudinal analysis of social units in order to understand their functioning is emphasized.