Large-scale engineering projects typically involve many different types of professionals who must interact and communicate with one another. This interaction produces conflicts that need to be resolved. A framework is presented in which the rationale used in a collaborative design environment for designing an artifact is also used for conflict mitigation. The framework contains mechanisms for checking interactions and prompting hypotheses about the reasons for the interactions. These hypotheses, once verified by the designers, improve conflict resolution by assisting them in coordinating and negotiating conflicts. This, in turn, enhances communication during the design process and consequently increases productivity in the engineering industry.