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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book starts with co-teaching a required lecture class called "The Human Context of Design" in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon. It focuses on people and communities, although the Environmental Design Research Association continues to encourage and publish this work. In many design schools, social design is a distant third after sculptural expression and green technologies. Social and psychological issues are not thought of as fertile form generators. There are signs of renewed interest in the potential of design where concerns about the human condition are primary. The book gives an overview of a growing body of knowledge and provides a resource to inform conversation among designers, owners, building committee members, and students of design about interactions among places and people. Untangling the links between place and social life is complex.