Design Semantics Committee

Design Semantics: Ontologies, Inference, and Standards for Spatial Design

Design, e.g., for creative, visual, product, architecture, and engineering, involves conception and abstraction with high-level constructs and patterns. An abstract preliminary design is translated to specific structures at a quantitative or geometric level via the process of physical design and specification. Contemporary professional design tools, and the precise quantitative modelling paradigm that they are based on, are inherently incapable of exploiting the correspondence between high-level descriptions of spatial concepts and patterns with low-level geometric features. Computer aided design tools also lack the ability to exploit the expertise that a designer is equipped with, but is unable to communicate to the design tool explicitly in a manner that is consistent with its inherent human-centred conceptualisation, i.e., semantically and qualitatively.

In this special interest group, we aim to establish working-groups, and standardisation and dissemination initiatives within the foundational framework of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA). The initial focus of the SIG will be on the domain of spatial design for architecture, and the role of design semantics in the context of computer-aided architecture design standards and interoperability initiatives such as the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and the Building Information Model (BIM). Subsequently, the scope will be extended to other engineering design domains involving other types of creative and engineering function-driven of computer-aided design activities.


  • Mehul Bhatt
  • John Bateman