A gift to Nijmegen and its citizens: two ‘luisterschalen’
Radboud University is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Together with partners and relations, the university wants to give a gift to the city of Nijmegen and its inhabitants in which reflection, curiosity and connection are central. It will be two large ‘luisterschalen’ (listening bowls) on the Spiegelwaal. A true experience.
‘Luisterschalen’ are large half-spherical dishes where people can talk and listen to each other. Because of their size, the ‘luisterschalen’ catch the eye of audiences from young to old. These ‘luisterschalen’ are placed fifty metres apart at a meaningful spot: the Spiegelwaal. If someone says something at one listening bowl, someone else hears it at the other listening bowl without amplifying the sound.
Reflection and curiosity
Besides connection, the ‘luisterschalen’ also provide for reflection and curiosity. There are posts with QR codes at both ‘luisterschalen’. At one scale, reflection is central. As soon as the QR code is scanned, the visitor hears an inspiring quote or a reflective podcast. The other listening scale stirs visitors' curiosity by bringing to life stories about the environment - from the past, present or future. Thus, the invisible becomes visible.
The ‘luisterschalen’ offer a multimedia experience. For example, listening to the story of Operation Market Garden makes it clear that the river Waal - which visitors look out on while listening - was the battleground during World War II. They see and hear original image and sound clips.
The ‘luisterschalen’ are also accessible to people without telephones or the internet. Having conversations through the listening dishes creates a connection between people. Visitors and residents will easily meet at the Spiegelwaal and in this way spontaneously experience the listening devices. Mini-lectures can also be organised. Radboud University and other institutions will transfer knowledge to the future generation at this special location, between the listening bowls.