This project, a collaboration with Reza Naima, has three objectives: 

First, we want to measure the places, times in which and the reasons why we experience stress so that we can learn to reduce stress, especially in urban settings. In the long run, we think the stressmap will be a valuable input for design and practice of urban life. 

Second, we want to create system where users can make an individual measurement and see a collective display at the same time. We think this approach will allow users to understand data better, and will allow us to make data collection more transparent. Those who describe and those who are being described should be the same people. Data interfaces should always allow us to produce data, not just consume it. 

Third, we want to create a data company that shares its value with the people who contribute the data. In other words, when you click the "stress" button on, you become a shareholder of the company. The more you click, the more you increase the value of the company, and the more shares you own. If the value of the company is 1,100,000 dollars, and we have collected 123,000 stress reports, each click is worth about 81 cents (after we subtract 10% of the value of the company for the people who build the system and invested in it). 

If you clicked 100 times, that means you own 100 datashares of the company, which would translate into a portfolio of $81.00. Not bad for a hundred clicks. Of course this is just an example, but we are setting up the legal framework for this to happen, and you can turn your stress into an actual value both to yourself and to your community, because in the end, the stressmap produces a map of where and when people are stressed out. That map will help us build more resilient and flexible urban centers.  The whole is more that the sum of all clicks. 

Right now, we're building a web app, and once we worked out a nice UIUX flow, we'll implement a beta app for Android and iPhone platforms. 

Tidal Bells

Expanding on Polartide with one additional collaborator, Tiffany Ng, tidal bells allows users to ring the bells of Carillons to mark sea levels near the bell tower. We have two versions so far, one for the Pacific Rim and one for the Gulf of Mexico. Purely from an interface standpoint, I prefer the Gulf of Mexico version, because the sea levels and the click frequencies are integrated in the most effective way so far. A recording of the UC Berkeley performance of Tidal Bells is linked here courtesy of Perrin Meyer. The interface for this recording was


Polartide is a joint project with Chris Chafe, Rama Gottfried and Perrin Meyer. We started the project as a commission for the Maldives Pavilion of the Venice Biennale 2013. More information and the thing itself is here:

Turing Test Tournament

Since August 1, 2013, we are running a web version of the Turing Test. The challenge is if you can distinguish a real Cal student from a Bot. The real question is: who are you? Please check out the game here: We will constantly update the AI, and if you are interested in helping us out, please join the project! Just contact me, or, if you are a Cal student, check out the URAP call. 

Swinging and Flowing Conference April 26, 2012

In a historical first collaboration between the Department of African American Studies and CITRIS, Cecil Brown, Charles Henry and I are hosting DJ Spooky and Helen Milner as well as many others to discuss Inclusion in new media. What media include whom in what processes? The conference is aimed at app developers working with NGO's interested in reaching diversity participants. Come join us, register at the conference site:

Tomato Quintet at NAMOC New Media Triennale 2011

Chris Chafe and Greg Niemeyer are invited to show Tomato Quintet, a project for singing tomatoes, in Bejing in Sumer 2011. The project originated at Machine Project in Los Angeles, went through the grind at SJ01 with a new tent form, and will be presented with more refined tentery and music in Beijing at the National Art Museum of China.

Start date June 2011, end date: August 2011.

Social Apps Initiative (SAI)

Together with Prof. James Holston and a great team of URAP researchers, Greg Niemeyer is developing a research site at UC Berkeley dedicated to game-based engagement. The mission of ISA is to leverage game dynamics in the service of welfare goals such as combating Dengue Fever, optimizing pedestrian circulation in cities, and improving access to brain rehabilitation.

Start date: Jan 2011, end date: Jan 2016

Pathways Game

This game, developed with Prof. Holston and URAP researches Melissa Yu, Ann Beaver, Geoff Tan and Pedro Cota, is designed to help persons recovering from brain injuries train their fine motor skills. The game is based on the classic peg board test and modified for the iPad. It's actually fun to play for the whole family. Pathways is subject to software disclosures and can be licensed through UC Berkeley OTL. 

Video: Pathways in Progress (by Pedro Cota)


Release scheduled for Summer 2011.

Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM)

Niemeyer serves on the Executive Committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media. He is working on launching the new BCNM website, on fundraising, and on refining the mission of the Center.

Start date: May 2005, end date: open