Universities are currently providing learning opportunities to students and teachers exploiting information and communication technologies to deliver their programs and provide tuition support. However, since architectural design education is unique, general models of e-learning are not applicable. Regarding a potential virtual design university there is therefore a particular need for a theoretical pedagogical framework. The objective of this paper is to present a theoretical basis for the design and implementation of a unique e-learning environment suitable for design learning and design teaching in the architectural and engineering domains. The ideas and the concepts are currently being implemented in the WINDS project. Three theoretical and methodological aspects that provide unique consideration for the construction of a virtual learning environment for design are presented and discussed: 1) A unique structure of design knowledge as required in virtual education, 2) A requisite pedagogic framework for virtual design education, and 3) A particular technology designed and implemented to support these aspects in WINDS.