1 Researchers and practitioners worldwide have recognized the importance of structured, scientifically-based, and industrially-tested theories and methods for product (and process) design and development. Recent research has sought similar goals: reduced development time, reduced product costs, and increased value delivered to customers. However, American and European research in engineering design and product development have evolved differently and are distinct in their scope of application. Consequently, little integration and cross-learning have been done. In this paper we propose a categorization of design research approaches 2 based on evolution and scope. We use this categorization to explain the reasons for lack of integration of design research. We distinguish between the process of creating a knowledgebase of design (the objective of design research in academia) and the process of selecting and implementing such knowledge (the objective of product development in industry). Finally we propose a process for identifying synergies and conflicts in the use of multiple design theories and methods.