The paper describes an experiment in creating a design environment comprising of a number of specialist design systems that co-operatively solve design problems, from conceptual layout to detailing. The systems targeted were in-house programs, as well as, commercial products. The objective of the experiment was to demonstrate a synergetic design environment by providing an integrated approach to design data. In the first phase of the project, the systems were arranged sequentially, with unidirectional flow of data using file transfers. The second phase of the project, currently underway, is based on an integrated view of product data using semantic data modeling concepts with an object-oriented database as a communication tool. The database approach provides a greater degree of integration giving designers a more global view of design data and thus facilitating iterative design.