Portrait of the WSG member Michael Schütz

Dipl.-Psych. Michael Schütz was born in Brühl in 1967. He studied in Cologne from 1988 to 1995, among others with Wilhelm Salber. Together with art director Monika Heimann he founded the research and creative agency INNCH - innovation guided by research in 2011. The company develops concepts and drafts for design and product, which are consistently oriented towards morphological and at the same time practice-integrating research. Prior to this, he worked for many years in market research, including a permanent position at rheingold.
He is also a lecturer for qualitative research methods in psychology at the ISM Cologne. He is a volunteer regional group leader in the Professional Association of German Market Researchers BVM. In addition, he organizes events in the field of concept art and concept music together with his partner. The art projects are also partly the result of psychological-morphological research. In addition to articles and book contributions on, among other things, the psychology of creativity, both published the book "Wie Design wirkt" (How Design Works) in 2016, which has since become a standard work for designers.

Mr Schütz, what do you wish for the future of the WSG?
For me, the conversations in the Wilhelm Salber Library are a prototype for what I want from society: to get into conversation and thus promote the exchange between the different life forms of morphology 'out there'. Perhaps also to sound out what psychological morphology, according to Salber, is able to withstand in terms of transformation. In my opinion, this also affects the survival of morphology in the long run. I have a sentence from Salber in my head, which I can only express in very general terms: "Do what you want as long as you think in terms of form and transformation." Whether he really said and meant it that way is less important to me. I like it. Within a morphological basic attitude many things are possible, and I hope for an open and fruitful conversation beyond any orthodoxy.

Which area or phenomenon of human life should be morphologically investigated?
I am always interested in social and political developments. From dealing with the so-called digitalisation to explosive topics such as right-wing radicalism. Apart from that the topic of music, there has been little research on this topic to my knowledge. And art. Here in particular the importance of contemporary art in a social context and art from the perspective of the artist and art making. Although art has such a central meaning for morphology, morphological studies are limited to the viewer.

Through which points of contact did you get to know the psychological morphology?
When I began my studies in Cologne, I was still very naive and knew nothing about morphology. My first point of contact were fellow students who said that everything else was not psychology for them, and whom I thought were a rather arrogant bunch, and who otherwise only spoke in cryptic-esoteric terms. Therefore I stuck to the 'other' institute in the first semesters. As my studies progressed, I began to have the stale feeling that mainstream psychology would not provide me with practical psychological tools. I think the initial spark with which I discovered morphology for myself and came to love it was a research internship with Weber on living in the city of Cologne.

Which psychological book do you use from time to time?
Actually, I prefer to discover new books, which can also be very old ones. I have just discovered Julius Bahle, who has been investigating musical creative processes since the late 1920s. His historical-experimental method shows amazing parallels to central concepts of morphology. Otherwise, it is always worthwhile to take a look at Rudolf Arnheim Visual Thinking as well as Art and Vision, but also Salber Art - Psychology - Treatment and Psychaesthetics - if you don't read too much at once.

Which country would you like to visit one day?
I used to travel halfway around the world, as far away as possible. That's why I still lack many destinations within Europe. Scotland and Ireland just appeal to me.

Gestalt and transformation is the central primal phenomenon of psychological morphology: into whom or what would you like to transform yourself for a day?
A passionate fan of science fiction and time travel: to a Roman citizen in ancient Cologne. Not a well-known personality, but a very normal person, so that I can look around and talk to people in peace and quiet (but being able to speak Latin fluently should already be part of the transformation offer)

Mr Schütz, thank you for your answers.