Collecting and visualizing information in an honest, approachable, and graspable way is a form of art
Born in Modena, in 1981, Giorgia Lupi defines herself as a data humanist that tells stories through data.
She is an information designer and co-founder in 2011 of Accurat, a data-driven research, design, and innovation company with offices in Milan and New York. She believes that, if approached humanistically, data can speak to the soul. They can reveal engaging narratives that connect the numbers they represent: stories, people, ideas. Her 2017 TED talk on this topic intrigued millions of spectators. And since 2019, she is a partner of the prestigious Pentagram studio and her work is part of the permanent collection of the MoMA.
As an information designer, her work can be placed between graphic design and data science.
She uses data – quantitative, qualitative, large, and small – and uses graphic-design to render them in an honest, approachable, graspable, as well as artistic, way. The opposite of the computer-generated, harsh-toned bar graphs, and pie-charts that are usually fed by mainstream media.
A great example of this is the ‘Dear Data‘ project that she realized with data designer Stefanie Posavec. The result of which is part of the MoMA collection and, in 2016, has been published in a book with the same title. For one year Lupi and Posavec exchanged weekly postcards concerning different research questions. How often did they give or receive compliments? How many times did they check their phones daily? How many dresses were in their closets? They collected, organized, and, most of all, drew the data on a postcard and sent it to each other. The two designers’ data are visualized as carefully drawn leaves, flowers, whorls, and asterisks. This makes it incredibly touchable.
And, according to Lupi, collecting and visualizing your own data is a form of empowerment.
Ilona Catani Scarlett