As design processes and products are constantly increasing in complexity, new tools are being developed for the designer to cope with the growing demands. In this paper we describe our research towards a design environment, within which different aspects of design can be combined, elaborated and controlled. New hardware equipment will be combined with recent developments in graphics and artificial intelligence programming to develop appropriate computer based tools and find possible new design techniques. The core of the new design studio comprises intelligent objects in a virtual reality environment that exhibit different behaviours drawn from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Artificial Life (AL) principles, a part already realised in a tool called'Sculptor'. The tasks of the architect will focus on preferencing and initiating good tendencies in the development of the design. A first set of software agents, assistants that support the architect in viewing, experiencing and judging the design has also been conceptualised for this virtual design environment. The goal is to create an optimised environment for the designer, where the complexity of the design task can be reduced thanks to the support made available from the machine.