Shape, Form, and Structure are elusive notions and yet are at the core of several disciplines from the humanistic (like literature and the arts) to the scientific (chemistry, biology, physics) and within these from the formal (mathematics, logic) to the empirical (engineering, cognitive science). Even within domains such as computer science and artificial intelligence, these notions rely on common-sense meanings and everyday perception and communication practices. Furthermore, formalisations of the semantics and reasoning about shape, form, and structure are typically ad hoc. Several approaches have been proposed within the aforementioned disciplines to study the notions of shape, form and structure from different viewpoints. A comprehensive formal view of how to understand their different uses has not emerged yet but it is clear that one needs to investigate an interdisciplinary perspective.

The Shapes workshop series is an interdisciplinary platform for the discussion of all topics connected to shape (broadly understood). Perspectives from psycho-linguistics, ontology, computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, aesthetics, design science, cognitive science and beyond are welcome to contribute and participate in the workshop. We seek to facilitate an interdisciplinary discussion between researchers from all disciplines interested in representing shape, form and structure, and reasoning about them. This includes formal, cognitive, linguistic, engineering and/or philosophical aspects of space and vision, being the domains where shape, form and structure find a natural setting, as well as their application in the sciences and in the arts.

Special Focus: architecture

Every edition of Shapes adds a special theme to drive attention to particular uses and needs in interesting areas. This edition drives attention to shape, form and structure in architecture. Architecture is an intrinsically interdisciplinary domain that nicely combines art, science and technology, and is rooted in the study of culture, landscape, territory and social practices. The study of shape, form and structure is part of the background of architects but architects tend to view and understand these notions within the context of a project design and not in their generality. We particularly encourage contributions that shed some light on the use of shape, form and structure in and across architectural works and architectural ways of thinking.

Important Dates

Feb 25, 2019 1st call for papers
May 15, 2019 Submission of contributions (extended abstracts 4/5 pages)
Jun 10, 2019 Acceptance/rejection notification
Jun 30, 2019 Camera ready submission
Sep 23 - 25, 2019 (TBA) Workshop dates


✔ Shapes 5.0 solicits contributions on the topics described above in the form of:
a) extended abstracts (talks only), short and long papers;
b) pieces of art (music, video, sculpture, scale models) possibly together with short or long papers (for inclusion in proceedings)

✔ Submission Website: select "The Shape of Things" track

✔ Proceedings: the papers will be published in the JOWO proceedings at

✔ All submissions must be in PDF format and must follow the IOS Press formatting guidelines

Invited Speakers







Mara Abel Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Mihailo Antovic University of Nis
Mehul Bhatt Örebro University
Emilios Cambouropoulos Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Chiara Di Francescomarino Fondazione Bruno Kessler-IRST
Christian Freksa University of Bremen
Antony Galton University of Exeter
Franca Giannini IMATI CNR
Michael Gruninger University of Toronto
Kris Krois Free University of Bolano-Bozen
Frieder Nake University of Bremen
Susanna Siegel Harvard University
Rossella Stufano Politecnico di Bari, Italy
Inge Hinterwaldner Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Stefano Borgo Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA) ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy
Oliver Kutz KRDB, Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Italy


This year the SHAPES Workshop will be part of the Joint Ontology Workshops JOWO 2019, hosted at the Medical University of Graz, Austria.

Previous Shapes