This chapter explores the social and cultural consequences of the limitation on both criticism and media, since the overall efficacy of built environments clearly depends not only on how good or bad buildings look or on who designed them, but on how well or poorly they perform. In addition to mechanical operations - air quality, thermal efficiency, water management, and energy - the evaluation of performance requires empirical methodologies and data that assess the impact of buildings on people - their perceptions, productivity, health, and salubrity, among other factors. One consequence of architecture's historical orientation to the values and aspirations of high design is the intellectual and academic marginalization of research and scholarship that study how people actually use buildings, how well they serve their needs and expectations, and how a building's total performance conditions its design success or failure.