In any design process there are elements of uncertainty and new fields of knowledge to be explored. The design professionals have, due to training and experience, attained a reasonable skill to cope with unknown variables In their running practice. Mostly, however, they are supported by cases of precedent, or prototypes, examples and models. In addition, many design objects are fenced in by and subjected to guiding principles. When entirely new phenomena of social or organizational character claim for an appropriate built form and spatial order, the situation is different. The architects are then in need of specified strategies to meeting the new and unknown requirements. Hypothetically, three kind of strategies can be identified: relying on intuition and tacit knowledge; relying on documented experiences and knowledge; and establishing a direct communication with the users. With reference to the professional approach to the role of the architect, a Swedish scholar has distinguished three types which have some connections with the above strategies: the heirs, with artistic ambitions; the idealists, with the strong belief on laypeople's capacity to provide the guiding basis for the architect; and, finally, what she calls the syntezisers. This latter type of architects relies more on scientific knowledge and has a realistic attitude to design conditions. The objective of the study, which this paper is based on, has been to expose the strategies and the approaches used by architects involved in the design of housing in accordance with the new Swedish concept of collective housing. The crucial questions are how they met the design challenge; how they searched for knowledge; and, how they created a concrete vision of the new form of everyday life that the collective form of living represents. The cases selected for the study are all design processes executed in the same, large architectural firm with far-going delegations to the individual architects involved. The design processes were addressed to various types of collective housing with respect to size and type of builders. Participation methods were employed in some of the selected cases. Interviews with the architects and representatives of the builders were aimed at describing the design processes and interpreting of the strategies. Interviews with the users and evaluation of the built environment enabled us to estimate the extent to which the preconceptions of the architects matched the expectations and everyday experiences of the Inhabitants in the collective housing units.