The book is an exploration of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological foundations of human-centred design. Specifically, it critically examines the notion of 'practice' and argues for an understanding of the concept which emanates from engagement with design problems rather than simply from social scientific theory. The contributors to the book in their various ways all subscribe to a systematic account of how practice- oriented studies can inform design. Using the perspective of 'grounded design', it pursues a long term view of the design process, arguing for user engagement from the very earliest stages of design policy, including methods for understanding user practices to inform initial design policies up to and including processes of appropriation as technologies are embedded in contexts of use. Grounded design is a perspective which also deals with the vexed problem of appropriate generalization in design studies and the kinds of cross-comparison that can usefully be done. The book contains a number of case studies which exemplify these themes, some of which are rooted in the use of technology in organizational contexts, others of which deal with design in contexts such as care of the elderly, firefighting and multicultural education.