In this paper, a formal engineering design synthesis methodology based on evolutionary computation is presented, with special emphasis on the design and optimization of distributed independent systems. A case study concerned with design of a sensory system for traffic monitoring purposes is presented, along with simulations of traffic scenarios at several levels of abstraction. It is shown how the methodology introduced is able to deal with the engineering design challenges present in the case study, and effectively synthesize novel design solutions of good quality. Moreover, when the fitness function is formulated as an aggregation of design preferences with different weights and trade-off strategies, the complete Pareto optimal frontier can be determined by the evolutionary synthesis methodology. The results of this study suggest that the approach can be useful for designers to solve challenging engineering design synthesis problems.