We live in the world of forms and shapes, and all the creatures in the universe is filled with infinite number of forms and shapes in natural and man-made objects. Forms and shapes always refer to visual appearance and they are categorized into basic shapes named geometric and organic. Generally man produces geometric shapes whereas nature has wide range of geometric and diversified free -flowing organic shapes which are precise and irregular contours or edges with a feeling of growth and movement.
Humans can use senses to the fullest and can readily assess most of the things he perceives. A bagful of popcorn during the movie touches on these five senses for enjoyment, sight/vision and smell probably induce to buy looking at first, touching becomes the delivery system from package to mouth, tasting is obvious reward and sound is the by-product of crunching the popcorn.  Most of the time our opinion about visual encounters are made with a primary emphasis on sight, looking at the above shapes and forms may give us innumerable clues to the nature of the object, how it functions, how its surface would feel, what it would taste like if edible, and how pleasing it is to look at. Incisive looking sharpens our experience and heightens our visual pleasure.
Form is the point of contact between mass and space.  An element of form is a method of communicating the outer form through a product which invites to use. It emphasizes on the outer shape/form of the product which communicates to the user. Elements-of-form is a cognitive exercise which needs to understand the various aspects of extracting the elements like form/shape, line and texture. This process happens in the form of 2 dimensional (2D) and 3 dimensional (3D).
The form/ shape is an important aspect for any visual appealing product. A good designed product will always have good outer shape with unique form however it depends on the designer and the product, for a products like consumer electronics the outer form may not have a good shape except the manipulation of radius in the corners, but an appropriate combination of elements, size and radius makes it a good form.
Generally outer form/ shape applies to consumer products and can be classified in to form oriented and function oriented, function oriented products may not have a good outer shape/form however an effort is always made to create an appropriate form.
To understand better, a shape is defined as an area that stands out from the space next to or around it due to a defined or implied boundary where as a form is any three dimensional object. Form can be measured, from top to bottom (height), side to side (width), and from front to back (depth). 
Primary elements of form are the point, the line, the plane and the volume.
The Point indicates a position in space.
A point extended becomes a Line with (1-D) properties of length, direction, position.
A line extended becomes a Plane with (2-D) properties of length and width, shape surface,orientation, position.
A plane extended becomes a Volume with (3-D) properties of length width and depth form and space surface, orientation, position.
This is a fundamental course for individuals creative growth happens in 3 stages which helps to develop sensitivity and coordination between mind and hand which ignites the imagination. This comprehensive course is structured for two disciplines Design for Retail Experience (DRE) and Design for Digital Experience (DDE) taught by two experienced faculties. Students from DRE are taught about basic elements of surfaces and understanding space where as students from DDE taught about understanding and developing forms about consumer products.
Aim of the course:
Aim of the course is to introduce the students to explore and understand the basic elements like line, shape, form and texture and to work on creating new forms using elements in 2dimension (2D) and 3dimension (3D). Further leads to form abstractions through nature inspiration in 3D. Studio assignments help students to gain hand-on experience to develop forms.
The course exploration in 3 stages:
• Elements of Form I
• Elements of Form II
• Elements of Form III
The course has diversified in stage II and III for respective disciplines with hands on exercise.
The duration of course is 2 to 3 weeks and the assignment is an individual work.
 PORTER ALBERT (1974) Elements of Design SHAPE AND FORM.
Davis Publications, INC. Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
 CHING FRANCIS (2007) ARCHITECTURE Form, Space, and Order,
Third Edition, Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, U. S. A.
 URL: CINDY KOVALIK, Ph.D. and Peggy King, M.Ed. Visual Literacy.