A major aim of synthetic biology is the design of robust living systems for real-world applications. In seemingly contrast, evolution changes the living, exploring new survival strategies in response to environmental challenges. How do we cope with this paradox? Can we control or even exploit the molecular mechanisms of evolution for biotechnological and biosustainable innovation and will the principles of engineering lead to fundamental insights in evolutionary biology? A merger of synthetic biology with experimental evolution is occurring and it will radically accelerate the development of these scientific disciplines.