Archive for April, 2021


April 15, 2021

How to say Forum Groningen in sign language?

Stichting Clubhuis voor Doven organized a contest to find a fitting gesture. The brilliant proposal of Leonie Bloem takes the V-shapes for ‘view’ and for ‘reading’ and combines them with the gesticulation for ‘meeting’ into one meaningful and crystal clear expression: a manual x-ray of the Forum.

At the same time the name gesture seems to paraphrase the hip hop classic east side – west side : )

Of course it should be included in Bouwspraak


April 13, 2021

“The whole earth was of one language and of one speech”.

They said one to another, “Come, let’s make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let’s make ourselves a name.”

A new language has been invented: a language for building sites, a sign language, a universal language.

Two developments sparked the desire for a new mode of communication:

The noise on construction sites increasingly calls for protective ear-wear. This makes verbal exchange even more difficult.

At the same time the number of nationalities involved in the building process has been steadily growing. At least 10 different languages could be heard on the construction site of Forum Groningen, for instance. How to exchange information? How to build?

Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. Yahweh said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing will be withheld from them, which they intend to do. Come, let’s go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Interestingly the industry that is responsible for that very Babylonian Confusion of Tongues now presents the unifying solution: the Esperanto of non-verbal communication: Bouwspraak!