27th October 2022

Hljóðhim­nar is nom­in­ated

to the Icelandic Design Awards 2022.

Hljóðhimnar by Þykjó is nominated to the Icelandic Design Awards 2022. The awards will take place on November 17th in Gróska. 

The Icelandic Design Award honours the best Icelandic design and architecture annually. The importance of design in our society, culture and business has been growing steadily, and it is therefore vital to increase the understanding of good design and highlight the value of quality. 

Hljóðhimnar is a place for children and their families to discover the magical world of sound and tones. Hljóðhimnar is the heart of children's culture in Harpa.

In Hljóðhimnar you can sit in the positions of the conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, snuggle up to the lullabies and songs of the Icelandic Opera, look into Maximús Músíkús mouseholes, sail around the oceans of music with the Reyk­javik Big Band and so much more.

The design team ÞYKJÓ led the design process in collaboration with Harpa, Gagarín, Vísindasmiðjan, Reykjavík Audio, IRMA, the aforementioned residents of the building and last but not least the ÞYKJÓ´s Kids Council.

The idea and design process behind Hljóðhimna

One of the birthday presents on Harpa's 10th anniversary in 2021 was the design of a new space specially designed for children and families. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Icelandic Opera and Reykjavík Big Band, which are based in Harpa, are among those who contributed to creating a unique experiential journey through the magical world of sound and tones. The space got the beautiful name Hljóðhimnar and is located on the ground floor in Harpa. Hljóðhimnar is a play on the Icelandic word for Eardrum - Hljóðhimna - which then translates directly as Sound Worlds. The installation is an invitation to experience the vast world of music and sound, without any previous knowledge or education needed.

ÞYKJÓ´S Kids Council

With the ÞYKJÓ´s Kids Council it was ensured that children participated in the project and had an influence on the design process. Last July, 100 children aged 5-7 came to workshops with ÞYKJÓ´s designers and scientists from Vísindasmiðjan in Harpa. The workshops looked for ways to communicate sound physics, how sound waves move the air and how music moves us. Designers started the brainstorming process with the kids and together we dreamed about what this space should be like. The collaboration and conversation with the children is the foundation on which ÞYKJÓ's design work for Hljóðhimna was based, and during the work process, children are regularly brought to the table to give their expert opinion.

From the jury

Hljóðhimnar is an integrative and active experience that stimulates the senses in a beautiful manner through play. A unique experience space in Harpa, combining education and exploration. The design of this space was led by the interdisciplinary team ÞYKJÓ in partnership with Harpa, Gagarín, Vísindasmiðjan, IRMA, Áróra light design, Reykjavík Audio, Upptekið, The Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Icelandic Opera, Maxímús Músíkús, Reykjavík Big Band and the ÞYKJÓ’s Kids Council where 100 kids between 5 and 7 years participated.

Intriguing, colorful, and warm setting for a wonder world of sound and music, with the aim to spark curiosity and inspiration. The planning of the space draws its inspiration from the ear and its anatomical shapes. Hljóðhimnar is exemplary for how quality design can play a large role in education through play, while also sparking creativity in the minds of younger generations.

Admission to Hljóðhimnar is free and opening hours are Weekdays 14:00-18:00. Saturdays and Sundays 10:00-18:00.

More about Hljóðhimnar