His Holiness Dalai Lama 14th receives  “I am listening” – the German Speakers Global Award 2014

His Holiness Dalai Lama 14th receives “I am listening” – the German Speakers Global Award 2014

Stefan Götz interviews Hermann J Kassel: Sculptor of the Dalai Lama Award.

Stefan Götz: Why is listening in so important for a speech?

Starting with the question what the spoken word or a good speech is based on and led by, my thoughts about the design of the “German Speakers Global Award 2014“ to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama focused on the process of listening, or receiving. It is one’s openness to what one perceives, listens to and thinks about that forms the basis of a substantiated and emphatically held speech.



Stefan Götz: Hermann what is the basic idea behind “I am listening”?

Hermann: When I explored how this thought can be put into a form, it was mainly the fact that it is the “German Speakers Global Award 2014“ that made me decide that a sphere should be the basic form of this work. But how can a sphere of such a solid form transport one of the most important characteristic of a speech – the interaction of impressing and expressing?

Reading Nikolaus von Kues (Cusanus), an influential German philosopher, theologian and mathematician of the 15th century and about a game he developed called “de ludo globi“ (globe/ball game) helped me out. The central form in this game is a ball. But the ball, symbolic of our planet, has a ‘dent’, a concave indentation that refers to another and transcendental level and its effect. And so the shape of this award developed from a combination of all of the above ideas and thoughts.

Stefan Götz: What is the connection between sending and receiving and the bowl?

A sphere that is indented concavely to its center by a second, imaginary and transcendental sphere with the same diameter transports the idea of the exchange between impression and expression, and reminds us of a cup, bowl or singing bowl. Rotatable about all axes, the sphere is set on three low columns and a flat disc.

The multi-layered, high-gloss leaf gilding of the concave indentation gathers, assimilates and concentrates as much as it reflects and radiates. Impressing and expressing, sending and receiving coincide. At the center of the gilded indentation the words  “I am listening”  have been added.

The work that also represents us, the honoring, professes to the honored, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, that we are listening. But the words also present a request and an affirmation to all of us, especially to those of us who are committed to speaking in a responsible and emphatic manner.

The work designed to be the “German Speakers Global Award 2014“ is a distinction, expresses our appreciation and hopes to give His Holiness the Dalai Lama some joy and energy. I feel honored and proud that I have had the opportunity to design and realize the “German Speakers Global Award 2014“ for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.


“I am listening“

Stefan Götz: Thank you Hermann for this interview


Foto: s.H. der 14. Dalai Lama, Prof. Dr. Lothar Seiwert, Andreas Buhr (Präsident der GSA)
Foto: Manuel Bauer
More Info on the creation of “I am listening” through Hermann J Kassel