History shows that humans are capable of designing remarkable things: bridges, skyscrapers, dams, cities, the Internet and, less glamorously, sewers and transport systems spring to mind immediately. There are also more subtly extraordinary achievements, including bureaucracies, organizations, IT systems and processes that allow people to work better together. All of these innovations involve, and are driven by, research. Yet a clear definition of the relationship between design and research is elusive. It is certainly not linear.