International Journal of Art & Design Education

Kükelhaus’ Phenomenology of Consciousness

Volume 25.1   2006



This paper (re)introduces the pedagogy of the German artist Hugo Kükelhaus (1900-1984) whose interest in the psycho-physiological substratum of learning led to theoretically and experimentally accomplished investigations of the conscious experience. Kükelhaus’ most well-known infant toy productions of the 1930’s: Allbedeut and Experience Field for the Senses in 1960’s serve here as illustrations of the significance of his ideas to contemporary theories of intelligence; educational technology; and the design of learning environments. I examine some of the issues surrounding the conceptualization, realization, and critical reception of these inventions. The paper concludes that Kükelhaus’ approach to the apparent contradiction of the sensuous idea offers practical and philosophical directions for the development of integrative, heuristic, archetypal tools and learning environments.