This paper considers the development of cooperative communication techniques for future wireless networks. To meet increasing throughput, delay and reliability demands, the future networks will have to rely on increased cooperation both among nodes and among protocol layers within a node. This requires a wide variety of knowledge, from theoretical issues such as graph theory or information theory, to issues at the physical and network layers, and to system and source levels. Recently, network coding has been proposed, providing a competitive solution to exploit all degrees of freedom offered by the wireless channel. Based on the solution of network coding, this paper focuses on two research directions: (i) source-aware network coding, which is about cross cooperation between the network layer and source level, and (ii) physical-layer network coding, which is about cross cooperation between the network and physical layers. The ultimate aim is to discuss issues related to practical design and implementation of wireless networks based on network coding for multimedia transmission.