Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds


Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Extended Reality (XR), Ancient Olympia: Common Grounds resurrects and recreates the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s rich history, powered by Microsoft's best-in-class technology.

We created sound design across this multifaceted digital and physical experience that's enabling a global audience to explore the birthplace of modern democracy and witness the Ancient Olympic Games as they existed 2,000 years ago.

Sound Design, UX/UI Sound, Music Composition, Voiceover

Museum Exhibition, Immersive Web Experience, AR, Mobile App (Google Play / Apple)


The partnership between The Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sport & Microsoft combined pioneering design with painstaking archeological research to create a tour of Olympia’s monuments, which users could experience through a HoloLens 2 experience at the Athens Olympic Museum, as well as on-site at Olympia or at home through an AR-enabled app and Web platform.

Through sound, we had the opportunity to deepen the storytelling, bring continuity across touchpoints, and guide the user experience.


Listen was charged with crafting bespoke music and sound across physical and digital experiences, including an exhibit soundscape and HoloLens 2 experience for the Athens Olympic Museum.

We drew upon the master brand strategy and UX sounds we had previously developed for Microsoft HoloLens, and applied it to the Olympia experience. We envisioned the UX/UI sounds as a throughline across augmented reality, mobile, and web applications, which would fit well with both the historical content and the high-tech context of the experience.


Environmental: supports user navigation of XR space

Tactile: connects to human touch or physical interactions

Immersive: reinforces spatial 3D digital experience


Blending real-world materials like tuned glass, metal, and wood, with simple synthesized sounds, we created sound design that's elegant and distinctive yet highly functional within a 3D digital space. Our sounds enhance everything from subtle navigations to climactic narrative moments like being teleported into the Temple of Zeus.

Our music compositions are uplifting and inspirational, with subtly evolving rhythms that help build momentum without distracting from the voiceover narration.

We also cast, directed, and recorded voiceovers in English and Greek, which in turn, helped to drive AI-powered translations that brought Common Grounds to twenty languages.

Soundscape Excerpt


Major press outlets such as CNN, Fast Company, the BBC, and Travel + Leisure all raved about Common Grounds, and nearly 100,000 visitors across the world took part in the digital experience. The project made waves, both at the highest levels of the Greek government and globally at Microsoft.

"Technology is opening up a completely different way of experiencing what our cultural heritage is all about." - Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, at Common Grounds opening