UniSci and Hljóðhimnar


Sound is primarily vibration, or waves that move the air. Maybe music can be thought of as an earthquake that moves us? But can we see sound with our eyes? Can we feel the vibrations with the body?

Last summer, UniSci and ÞYKJÓ collaborated with 100 kids from the ÞYKJÓ Kids Council on the conceptual work and experiments with the physics of sound, which became the basis for Hljóðhimnar; a place for children and their families to discover the magical world of sound, located on the ground floor of Harpa.

Now, the guests at the BIG BANG festival are invited to play and experiment with us and who knows what unexpected discoveries could arise from that!

Interactive equipment, tools and exciting workshops for the whole family will be available.

 About UniSci

UniSci, The University of Iceland's Science Center, aims to communicate science and knowledge in an interactive and lively way to the society, especially to young people; to stimulate interest and general understanding, as well as to strenghten science literacy and critical thinking.

 UniSci welcomes school groups to visit throughout the school year and offers workshops for teachers in the field of natural science and sciences. It is also open to visitors on special occasions, in addition to which UniSci travels all over the country with its mobile workshop in connection with various events.

About Hljóðhimnar

Hljóðhimnar is a play on the Icelandic word for eardrum – “hljóðhimna” – which translates roughly as Sound Worlds. The installation is an invitation to experience the vast world of music and sound, without any previous knowledge or education necessary.

Hljóðhimnar was commissioned by Harpa as a part of their 10 year anniversary program in 2021. This permanent installation is a birthday present to all children from Harpa and its residents, from the smallest resident, Maximus Musicus (a music-loving mouse hiding in the nooks and crannies of Harpa) to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Icelandic Opera and the Reykjavík Big Band.

This project is a multidisciplinary collaboration. The design process was led by ÞYKJÓ design collective, created with Harpa. Other collaborators are Gagarín, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Icelandic Opera, Reykjavík Big Band, Maximus Musicus, Reykjavík Audio, Vísindasmiðjan and IRMA.

The layout of the space is inspired by the magical journey of a sound wave through different parts of our ear, divided into four parts: “Outer Ear”, “Ear Canal”, “Middle Ear” and “Inner Ear”.