Magritte, Brainstorming in VR

Innovations need creative ideas. Creativity is an essential element of digital transformation. Consequently, companies are trying to better manage the process of creativity. VR offers completely new possibilities for this.


  • Lead school Business School
  • Institute Institute for Innovation and Strategic Entrepreneurship
  • Research unit Low-end Innovation
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2019
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Deane Harder
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Deane Harder
  • Project staff Benjamin Adriaensen
    Lize Duminy
  • Partner KPT Krankenkasse AG
    University West Trollhättan
  • Keywords Virtual Reality, VR, Creativity, Design Thinking, Innovation, Psychologic Safety


Innovation is the commercial exploitation of good ideas. So far there are few connections between the creative, idea-generating elements of design thinking or brainstorming and digital transformation. This is unfortunate, as new technological developments such as virtual reality (VR) glasses could provide new approaches to unlocking the creative potential of groups and offer a new way of managing the whole creative process or aspects of it. Therefore, the "Magritte" project aims to implement a VR application for idea generation that can be integrated into a simple and well-structured higher-level design thinking process.

Course of action

The human being is hard-wired to process visual information. Common brainstorming methods overemphasise the use of written text or rely on a more or less sophisticated imagination of the participants. The presentation and exchange of ideas and associations in a group is therefore not geared to the preferred way of working of most people. Virtual reality offers the possibility to easily create visual representations and shared images without the limitations of the physical world. This makes it much easier to find commonalities in the perception of a group of people, but also to extend chains of associations and to enhance the experience by simple manipulations such as changing size, colour, shape or proportions. The visual system is fed with concrete pictorial information that is not bound to reality and thus promotes the flow of associations and the construction and deconstruction of mental models. In a prototype, the associated terms are dynamically integrated as floating words in a VR landscape. The result of the brainstorming session can then be further processed conventionally.


The prototype was successfully programmed and tested. Further development should be pursued with a private company.

Looking ahead

VR offers a wide range of approaches to promote entrepreneurial creativity in a targeted manner and to use it productively. However, the digital transformation will place great demands on companies in this direction, as complementary measures are needed at other levels, e.g. with regard to organisation, processes, infrastructure and personnel development.