This paper presents a computational definition of design context and discusses its role for collaborative design. A brief review of design representation and modelling approaches is given first. This is followed by a discussion on the necessity for modelling design context in collaborative design. This discussion provides a basis for a definition of design context and a description of Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods for representing and reasoning about this design context. The development of an intelligent collaborative design system supporting context management is presented. Finally, the limitations of our current approach to representing design contexts, and possible ways for future improvement are discussed.