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Diagramming As A Strategy For Solving Graphic Design Problems
M. Isabel Meirelles
Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Arts, Northeastern University, Boston
239 Ryder Hall, Department of Visual Arts, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, 02115-5000, USA


This paper examines the use of diagrams as a creative problem solving strategy. The focus is on
the cognitive and perceptual operations supported on diagrams and how they might facilitate the
process of creating representations with which to solve graphic design problems. It starts with
an overview of how we solve problems in general and the role of representations in problem
solving. It is followed by an outline of the ways in which diagrams amplify cognition in the context
of a case study involving a class assignment. Ultimately, this paper suggests that diagramming
can be an effective strategy for creating a representation with which to solve a complex graphic
design problem. A representation that is “right” will foster new knowledge, insights and creations.