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Experience the magic of the circus at Ciência Viva

Ciencia Viva
Ciencia Viva Ciencia Viva

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: the circus is coming to town! When commissioned to reimagine the kids’ gallery for Ciência Viva – an interactive science-and-technology centre in Lisbon – NorthernLight created a vibrant, colourful playscape reminiscent of the circus. Bold graphics, bright hues, dazzling lights and kaleidoscopic mirrors invite kids to perform and play, while reconnecting parents to their childhood memories. The discovery of a park meets the emotion of a circus: you can almost smell the nostalgic wafts of popcorn, candyfloss and caramel.

Bold patterns, colourful landscapes and kaleidoscopic mirrors

“We came up with the metaphor of the circus for this discovery area, as it has such powerful connotations to magic, emotion and thrills,” explains Steven Schaeken, director of NorthernLight. “We created a surreal space with things that seem impossible at first glance.” Jump aboard a popcorn car with square wheels, step into a crazy ice-cream shootout or climb a clown puppet that mimics your voice. Catering to the age of selfies, we developed the perfect stage for capturing kids in their element: playing, discovering and having fun. The playscape is conceived with experiential learning in mind. Since we learn by doing, kids discover science by physically interacting with a diversity of installations.” The gallery has opened its doors in the Pavilhão do Conhecimento inside Lisbon Expo Park recently.

(Photography credits: Vera Menino and NorthernLight)


  • cienciaviva
  • museumexperience
  • design


NorthernLight Design

NorthernLight Design conceives, designs, builds and installs exhibitions for a wide variety of exhibitors. Clients include museums, children museums, science centres, expos, private companies and urban entertainment developers. We provide turn-key results, specialising in taking a project from first concept to production and installation. Action and interaction are central to our approach.