This is a volume in a new series of textbooks which responds to changes that are occurring throughout the construction industry and in further education. The series focusses on aspects of the curriculum that are common to all professions in the built environment. The principal aim of BEST (the Built Environment Series of Textbooks) is to provide texts that are relevant to more than one course and the texts therefore address areas of commonality in an original and innovative way. Learning aids in the texts, such as revision notes, questions for self-testing and worked examples, will appeal to all students. This book explores the fundamental generators and contextual issues - philosophical, physical and political - that influence built environments. It draws on international examples to show how societies and cultures in different parts of the world react to similar problems. It contrasts dramatically different types of buildings and enclosures from primitive shelters to space laboratories. They show how mankind endeavours to control the environment - whatever it is.