last update Sep 19, 2017


Shape, Form, and Structure are some of the most elusive notions and are pervasive in diverse disciplines from humanities (like literature studies, art history) to sciences (chemistry, biology, physics) and within these from the formal (mathematics, logic) to the empirical disciplines (engineering, cognitive science, architecture, environmental planning, design). Within domains such as computer science and artificial intelligence research, these notions are understood by mixing their common-sense meanings (e.g. to make sense of everyday perception and communication) and ad hoc technical specifications. Even in the different declinations of design the conception and sense of these notions change considerably. Several approaches have been proposed within the aforementioned disciplines to study the very notions of shape, form and structure from different viewpoints, yet a comprehensive treatment of these notions is lacking and no interdisciplinary perspective has emerged.

Important Dates

July 28, 2017 Submission of contributions (abstracts, pieces of art works)
Aug 25, 2017 Acceptance/rejection notification
Sept 15, 2017 Camera ready submission
Sept 21-23, 2017 SHAPES 4.0 workshop


✔ Shapes 4.0 solicits contributions in form of
a) extended abstracts of 2000 words (about 4 or 5 pages) including bibliography
b) pieces of art (music, video, sculpture, scale models/images as well as documentations of these formats) together with a 1000 words (about 2 pages) presentation of the work

✔ Papers should be formatted following the IOS Press template

✔ All accepted papers will be published open-access in the joint JOWO proceedings. Please visit the workshop webpage for more information.

✔ Submission is via the Easychair submission system. To submit your paper, go to and select the track "SHAPES 4.0 - The Shape of Things"

Invited Speakers

Prof. Nicola Baroni at the music conservatory 'Claudio Monteverdi', Bolzano, will participate with a keynote talk with the title: "Hyperinstruments as a Gestural Approach to Composition"
as well as perform a Cello concert.

Prof. Todd Oakley will attend the workshop as a keynote speaker. He is an associate professor of cognitive science at Case Western Reserve University. His primary research interests lie in cognitive linguistics, in particular in semiotics, discourse analysis and rhetorics. In terms of image schema research, he is particularly known for his chapter on image schemas in The Handbook for Cognitive Linguistics (Oxford University Press, 2008).
"Force dynamics and the windowing of attention".


Program for the accepted papers

11:15 - 12:30

S. Rama Fiorini and M. Abel "Quality Patterns and Conceptual Spaces"
E. Sanfilippo, F. Mandorli, C. Masolo and M. Ragni "The interplay between shape and feature representation"
A. Calafiore and G. Boella "Towards an understanding of place forms through the lens of social practice theories"
C. Cantale, D. Cantone, M. Lupica Rinato, M. Nicolosi-Asmundo and D. F. Santamaria "The Shape of a Benedictine Monastery: The SaintGall Ontology"

14:15 - 15:30

S. Helmer, G. Glüher and C. Upmeier "Show, Don't Tell: Retrieving Cultural Assets Via Gestures"
M. M. Hedblom "Beneath the Paint: A Visual Journey through Conceptual Metaphor Violation"
K. Gasteier "Shaping a Structural and Visual Representation of Strategic Interaction"
R. Peñaloza "The Shape of the Other"



Mara Abel Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Mihailo Antovic University of Nis
Tarek Besold University of Bremen
Stefano Borgo ISTC CNR
Dino Borri Politecnico di Bari
Domenico Camarda Politecnico di Bari
Emilios Cambouropoulos Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Klaus Gasteier Universität der Künste
Chiara Ghidini Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK)
Franca Giannini CNR
Giancarlo Guizzardi Free University of Bolano-Bozen
Inge Hinterwaldner Humboldt University at Berlin
Kris Krois Free University of Bolano-Bozen
Oliver Kutz Free University of Bolano-Bozen
Frieder Nake University of Bremen
Omar Nasim University of Regensburg
Paulo E. Santos Centro Universitário FEI, S. Paulo, Brazil
Angelika Seppi Humboldt University at Berlin
Rossella Stufano Politecnico di Bari
Rossella Stufano Politecnico di Bari, Italy
Inge Hinterwaldner Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Stefano Borgo Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA) ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy
Kris Krois Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Italy
Oliver Kutz Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Italy


This year the SHAPES Workshop will be part of the Joint Ontology Workshops JOWO 2017, hosted at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy.

The workshop will take place at the third Joint Ontology Workshops (JOWO), where ten ontology-centered workshops meet for three days in an exciting joint event at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. The inspiring environment, tucked in between the South Tyrollean Alps, promises to provide an excellent setting to discuss innovative and state of the art research. Please join us!

The JOWO 2017 event

The Free University of Bolzano-Bozen

The Bolzano city

Previous Shapes