VISUAL, an Open Environment for Visual Modelling

Gábor Kis
Eötvös Loránd University


1 The VISUAL program

VISUAL[1] is a microworld developed by the Hungarian Comenius Logo 3.0[2], using all it’s built-in features as well as the created tools. The program intends to provide an environment for visual modelling using different platforms. It provides the user with several tools to aid in exploring two dimensional geometric structures, developing visual abilities and creativity. Furthermore, these structures can be used as building blocks to compose mosaics via possible geometric transformations.

Geometric structures can be inputted in the following ways:

These structures can be defined into block entities (tiles) and thus modified using the following geometric transformations:

Blocks (tiles) can be further combined to produce mosaic patterns as combinations of:

The functions of modification and combination can be utilised in sequence upon further choice.

2 Application

The program can used to illustrate the structures in design motifs and their progressive development. Analysing historical design motifs, decomposing them into basic tiles develops analytical visual abilities. By constructing mosaics from basic tiles in an algorithmic way, produces a deeper understanding of geometric structure and transformations. Variations of combinations allow artistic ventures in experimenting with motifs and their outcome.

Basic patters can be either those pre-programmed or developed by user in all possible ways. Depending on the ability to express a geometric form, the program supports different input possibilities from beginners scribbling, through a series of planned steps , till well composed Logo command sequences. Progress in this field helps development of constructive abilities and symbolic representation of geometric forms[3]. Direct interactions with this code produces a deeper understanding of geometric structures and allows diverse roads to emerge through the process. Easy manipulation motivates trial of various conscious or unconscious constructions, thus leading the way to creativity.

On the other hand, this application is also useful in the integration of informatics and visual studies, since it provides the development of Logo programming algorithms as well as understanding visual structures. Developed as an open programmable application it facilitates further development easily[4].


  1. Kis, G., Visual modelling using Logo and Logo-like microworlds, dissertation, Eötvös Loránd University, 1997.
  2. Comenius Logo 3.0 (© localisation M. Turcsányi-Szabó & Kossuth Ltd), from (© Andrej Blaho, Ivan Kalas, Peter Tomcsányi) Kossuth Ltd. 1997.
  3. Clayson, J., Visual Modelling with Logo, MIT Press, 1988.
  4. Eisenberg, M., "Creating Software applications for children: some thoughts about design", in Computers and Exploratory Learning, ed. A. A. diSessa, C. Hoyles, R. Noss, NATO Series, Springer Verlag, 1995.