Design-based research has become increasingly popular in collaborative cross-disciplinary research projects. Based on the experience in several European research projects, this research methodology allows for more agile research approaches. However, it is still a challenge to turn design experiences into a sound body of evidence that can be transferred to future design problems. In this paper, we want to describe an approach to collaborative research projects that extends design-based research with the use of design patterns. We particularly focus on how emergent knowledge can be captured as proto-patterns, how the knowledge develops along the research process, and how such projects can be geared towards pattern outcomes. Towards that end, we present a pattern maturing process describing phases of pattern development that is based on knowledge maturing phase model.