Research collaborations with external partners are becoming the norm in HCI. This tendency has been driven by the fact that HCI does research ’in the wild’, engaging with societal problems, necessitating collaboration with external partners. Despite this interest, little work exists on which concrete approaches HCI researchers can take to make the different goals, resources, and responsibilities towards societal wicked problems align, throughout a research project. In this paper, we propose that design can be used as an approach to facilitate a strong and long-lasting inclusive collaboration with industrial as well as social partners. We do this by analyzing a research project with a major industrial partner on circularity and reflect on this using the theoretical constructs of action design research, concept design, and integrated research spaces.