This paper discusses the case study of the new research and education framework applied at the School of Design at Northumbria University that aims at building an integrated sustainable design research community. This community concerns itself with developing design value propositions (new methods, new knowledge and new design IDEAS or applications) by combining the three broad domains of the discipline (forms of practice); practice through collaboration (new methods), discovery through research (new knowledge), and new solutions through engagement (new products, and services). In both academic and commercial context, this also culminates into a purposeful learning for all stakeholders. The authors explain that the methodological gap between design ‘doers’ and design scholars in an academic context makes the process of design leadership very difficult. This paper discusses the paradox that design in the academia needs to respond to the conflict between learning through doing (design) and learning through research of design. Additionally, this paper highlights the challenges that the School of Design at Northumbria came across while establishing this research community and also discusses everyday challenges of maintaining this community.