As computing technologies become ubiquitous in social life, social science increasingly becomes the study of those technosystems. Similarly, as technology corporations compete to design new ubicomp products, social science research is recruited as a design method. This paper presents an interpretive bricolage, exploring the relationship between social science and corporate technology research. It draws on a specific case study: the history of ethnomethodology during the lifetime of the Xerox EuroPARC laboratory. This interpretation relates to the ways that social and organisational authority is maintained through scientific knowledge, and the ways in which interdisciplinary design research engages with product users, customers and markets.