Area of Concentration: Creativity

Learning Objectives

Students engage with the embodied and material practices of creativity and reflect upon its mediating conditions – whether contextual, organisational, group-based or individual.

Students develop creation processes by undertaking a concrete project and mastering a set of principles, tools or fertile questions that have shown themselves to be useful for the generation of ideas and opportunities as well as for problem solving.

Creativity has long been seen as one of the finest human capacities, enabling scientific invention, technological innovation and artistic creation. Recently, creativity has been inscribed as a core resource to reinvigorate local economies, world-renowned businesses, urban agglomerations and government policies. Creativity is often a password that is added when company consultants, journalists or policy-makers point toward the importance of the creative economy, the creative city, the creative class and even the creative industries – a whole new sector. Because creativity is seen as a commodity, critical voices have increasingly paid attention to the rise of the creative imperative – i.e. “be creative” – and its central position in contemporary society. In this area of concentration, we will draw on this rich range of multi-disciplinary insights.

Taking note of the ambivalences about “what creativity can(not) do”, the goal of the Creativity area of concentration is primarily to analyse and reflect upon the creativity discourse that pervades our professional, organisational and private lives. In addition to understanding creativity as a conceptually driven area of research, we will draw upon concrete experiences of creation processes and aesthetic work. Therefore, courses in this area of concentration will enable students to recognise opportunities for creativity in their professional and private lives, and to try out and apply their creative abilities individually and in teams. Students will explore active involvement in creation processes by learning how to generate novel, useful and feasible ideas in diverse ways on the basis of connecting here-and-now observations with current research results, and by connecting practical experiences to conceptual understanding. A second and important goal of the courses in this area of concentration is to inspire and challenge students by exposing them to radically different perspectives and approaches.

Talking about, analysing and reflecting on creativity is certainly important, but it also requires that we practise and embody creativity. Therefore, courses in this area of concentration set forth learning forms that invite students to leave their comfort zone, to venture, experiment and exercise. So be ready for creativity tools, group games, bodily exercises, outdoor activities and little performances; but also for conceptual exploration, critical dialogue, new vocabularies and reflective writing.

At the Bachelor level, course topics can explore creativity and creation in contexts that range from individual psychology to teams, organisations, cities and (creative) industries. Courses at the Master level can build on the above interests, but they will also differ as they engage with more in-depth empirical research methodologies, new conceptualisations (from cultural psychology, cultural sociology, human geography, aesthetic theory, gender studies and so on) and critical analysis.


Chris Steyaert

Prof. PhD

Full Professor of Organizational Psychology

5. Stock
Rosenbergstrasse 51
9000 St Gallen