Abstract : Solid shape is typically segmented into surface regions to define the appearance and function of parts of the shape; these regions in turn use curve networks to represent boundaries and creases, and feature points to mark corners and other shape landmarks. Conceptual modeling requires these multi-dimensional nested structures to persist throughout the modeling process, an aspect not supported, up to now, in free-form sculpting systems. We present the first shape sculpting framework that preserves and controls the evolution of such nested shape features. We propose a range of geometric and topological behaviors (such as rigidity or mutability) applied hierarchically to points, curves or surfaces in response to a set of typical free-form sculpting operations, such as stretch, shrink, split or merge. Our method is illustrated within a free-form sculpting system for self-adaptive quasi-uniform polygon meshes, where geometric and topology changes resulting from sculpting operations are applied to points, edges and triangular facets. We thus facilitate, for example, the persistence of sharp features that automatically split or merge with variable rigidity, even when the shape changes genus. Sculpting nested structures expands the capabilities of most conceptual design workflows, as exhibited by a suite of models created by our system.