Battelle-Buildmappen-Brainwriting (BBB) technique

The Battelle-Buildmappen-Brainwriting (BBB) method was developed by researchers at the Battelle Institute in Frankfurt, Germany (J. N Warfield, H. Geschka and R. Hamilton, 1975).
The BBB approach begins with classical brainstorming, followed by idea stimulation from a picture portfolio (the buildmappen) and ends with a second round of idea generation using the basic brainstorming method.

Procedure Steps

1. A problem is read to a group numbering five to eight persons.
2. The group verbally brainstorms to develop known or trivial solutions to the problem.
3. Each group member is given a folder containing eight to ten pictures that are unrelated to the problem.
4. Each person writes down any new ideas or modificati ons of the old ideas suggested by the pictures.
5. The solutions of each group member are read to the entire group.
6. The group discusses the ideas with the goal of developing additional variations.


A major advantage of the BBB method is that the individual writing of ideas stimulated by the pictures can help overcome the personal inhibitions often found in face- to-face idea generation sessions. Ideas are generated by individual free-association, by stimulation of others’ ideas, and by stimulation from the pictures.