Art review: draw me your data

One year ago, two data designers, Giorgia Lupi (New York) and Stefanie Posavec (London) have started a singular but exciting correspondence across the Atlantic, visualizing their daily life in magical data postcards.

Two Women, One (Weekly) Project

As data designers and artists, Giorgia and Stefani had the chance to meet each other a few times, despite the distance between London and New York. During these few times, both women have shared the numerous variables they have in common: their love for infographics, drawing and use data to live in a creative way. These have become the basis of their project.

Draw1Living in a Big Data World, any individual can be displayed through a set of impersonalized data. Playing with this assumption, the project aims to render this data funny and colourful, as a way to restore the beautiful details of human daily life. Enjoy your personal data, as often as possible, is the key instruction. Therefore, each week, one aspect of daily life has been chosen. The aim? Sketch a quantitative representation of your life, following the topic, and materialize it on a postcard. From the week of “smiling at strangers” to the week of “trying new things” (more than the ba- sic use of data) their projects offer an interactive way – using postcards as a support- to humanly (/ to humanise the personal record of data) record personal data.

Draw2The various postcards (http://www.dear-data. com) reflect the creative and playful possibilities of data design. The week of desire or “I wish I œ”, as an example, is the typical fairy tale topic. The shooting stars data drawing in the front of the postcard is therefore a pleasant surprise for the reader, while on the back of the postcard, “how to read it” instructions are provided. Only one advice: make sure to read it with all your feelings! It could be of real pleasure.

When Data Meets Art

Data and infographics become an increasingly central part of our daily life and of our daily consumption: everything can be measured, counted and computed. The individual is lost within the abundance of data. However, such (deep and wide) massive data sets miss however the incom- plete and imperfect human details of each indi- vidual.

In opposition with a set of impersonalized data, the ability offered by this project to analyse our own life is therefore enticing. The use of data becomes imperfect but more touching if not poetic considering the different colours, shapes and symbols you can use to reflect yourself. The only thing you have to know is that you do not have to know anything about data. It requires only a pencil, pieces of paper and blank postcards to start collecting and computing your own data-life. The only constraint you can encounter is a little ten- sion between the need of a lovely design and the need of a fitting representation of yourself.

To conclude, the project makes the idea of data more accessible to every people at any time – especially for the ones that are studying econometrics. Data is neither big nor scary anymore: it is only an accurate mix of art and functionality.

Estelle CORDIER

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