Niki Selken 👩🏻💻 is an artist, technologist and educator. Niki spent over a decade working across game design, physical computing, experimental theatre, interaction design and education. As a designer and technologist, Niki focused on working with nonprofits and small businesses in the inclusion and social impact space (Ms. Foundation, Girls Write Now, LYRIC, Hesperian Health Guides) and as an educator, she taught a range of creative coding courses in both New York and San Francisco. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Niki has taught at her alma mater, at St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn, at the University of San Francisco, at the Bay Area Video Collective and at Gray Area—where she is the Creative Development Director and manages the artist incubator and creative code education programs.
Niki is considered one of the foremost Emoji experts in the world and has earned global recognition for her emoji work as well as her gaming and wearables projects. She founded the Emoji Foundation, created the Emoji Dictionary, and VR game EmojiFlower VR. Niki is the co-founder of the Emoji Foundation, an organization that promotes, explores, and translates the written word into the pictorial alphabet of Emoji. Her Emoji Dictionary project debuted at The Proof is in the Processor art show in New York City and was featured at Currents New Media Art Festival in Santa Fe. She followed up that work with a VR Emoji game, EmojiFlower VR, that is available for download in the iTunes store. Her game, Find Maria Rivera, exhibited at Indiecade and was selected as an Indiecade Award Finalist. And her Augmented Reality platform, Wayscape, earned her recognition as a Kill Screen game design scholar and a Parsons E-Lab fellow. Niki is a global finalist and a NASA Space Apps winner for her wearable tech project, Senti8. She has performed and/or worked with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The San Jose Stage Company, Yerba Buena Center for Performing Arts, Counterpulse Theater, and United Broadcasting Theater Company among others. In 2007 Niki founded the theater company, Ko Labs, which presented The Endless Frontier at the 2008 San Francisco Fringe Festival and at the 2009 Women on the Way Festival. She lives in San Francisco with her partner, lots of VR equipment, and a dragon/kitty named Falkor.