Dear Data

I listen regularly to Debbie Millman’s podcast, Design Matters. In fact, it’s one of my favorite podcasts because she interviews such a wide variety of people and I often learn a lot about design that I didn’t know or projects that are intriguing. That’s how I discovered Dear Data, I heard one of the authors, Giorgia Lupi, interviewed by Millman.

Lupi, along with her friend Stefanie Posavec, trade postcards every week for a year with a data visualization on it of something they tracked in their lives for a week. One week they tracked how many times they said “I’m sorry”, another week they tried to smile at strangers and tracked the reactions, and one week they tracked every time they used their phones. What made this book fascinating wasn’t just the visualization that they both came up with week after week, but how they each interpreted the data.

For example, the week they tracked all the complaints they made Lupi also tracked who she complained to and what the complaint was about, while Posavec went for a more straightforward approach and just tracked the complaints and what what they were about, but both visualizations are stunning.

I did have a preference for one over the other’s work, I just liked the style of one more, but that doesn’t matter, because all the cards are amazing. And I’ll admit, it made me want to figure out a way to track something about myself and attempt a visualization because it’s something I’ve never done before and it would be a new way of drawing.

To draw is to remember.