This paper presents a client/server design environment based on 3D feature-based modelling and Java technologies to enable design information to be shared efficiently among members within a design team. In this environment, design tasks and clients are organised through working sessions generated and maintained by a collaborative server. The information from an individual design client during a design process is updated and broadcast to other clients in the same session through an event-driven and call-back mechanism. The downstream manufacturing analysis modules can be wrapped as agents and plugged into the open environment to support the design activities. At the server side, a feature-feature relationship is established and maintained to filter the varied information of a working part, so as to facilitate efficient information update during the design process.