Serendipity, Concert Halls and Public infrastructure

Eight months ago I was waiting at 3am in downtown Reykjavík for a bus to take me to the Keflavík airport. Streets were unsurprisingly empty and quiet. Standing there, in the wee hours of the mourning, Harpa, the fancy concert hall built during the biggest recession in the history of the country that cost more than 160 million euros to build, caught my eye. I posted this in instagram:

Reykjavík 03:15

Un vídeo publicado por Aitor Garcia (@_aitor) el

Then a friend in Twitter mention mentioned the playful way the ligths are used in the building’s façade, to which I replied in a series of tweets:

Then 5 months later, Studio Ólafur Elíasson (the original author of the façade) and The City of Reykjavík, announced a competition for art works utilising the façade: “Harpa calls for light-based projects”. And then a a few weeks ago the winner,, was selected and given the opportunity to run the project. It’s an online simulator where colors splatted in the building’s diagram are transmitted to the façade.

Pretty astonishing how The City and Harpa got independently to exactly the same idea I proposed half a year earlier, huh? Anyway, I’m happy to see the public infrastructure used in an open, proactive way and I hope they will be more cities taking small steps in the future with their IoT and digital infrastructure.