“Seeing is believing”or “A picture is worth a thousand words”stress the importance of visual formalisms in learning and communication. Every time, we want to draw a system, unconsciously, we draw a circle or a rectangle. A closed contour delimits a small surface that materializes an abstraction, in our case, a system, an object or a component. Children draw forms before language. Primates such as chimpanzees produce paintings with a striking similarity to drawings made by children at the early stages. The world seems to have an iconic representation before we can abstract it with language. Six recurring “diagrams” were identified by psychologists with children: circles/ovals, squares, rectangles, triangles, crosses, and irregular odd shapes.


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© Springer 2007

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