by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec
Princeton Architectural Press
2016, 288 pages, 8.4 x 11.2 x 1 inches (softcover)
I have always had a deep fascination with the graphical representation of data. Being mildly dyslexic, numbers make my head hurt. Being extremely visual, numbers only come alive for me when they take color, shape, or are otherwise rendered in some visual way. Show me numbers and they will have little impact. Show me a beautiful graphical representation of those numbers and I will remember them forever. Dear Data is a rich and inspiring teasure-trove of creatively rendereded data, giving visual shape to the more mundane aspects of the two authors’ lives.
Dear Data is the result of a year-long project that two designer friends undertook. For one year, Giorgia Lupi, an Italian living in New York, and Stefanie Posavec, an American in London, gathered data around a theme each week, things like the number of times they said “Thank you,” the numbers of people they met (and how they connected), the numbers (and types) of doorways they walked through, the number of times they each looked at a clock, etc. With this data in hand, they would render a postcard with an artful, graphical presentation of their week and send it to the other. This book collects all 52 weeks, along with lots of additional art, insight, and asides.
The result is a very lovely book and a very unique way of exploring a friendship while more deeply exploring oneself in the process. Reading through Dear Data and pouring over all of the curious and clever charts, graphs, and diagrams they created, you really feel both women making unique discoveries about themselves, identifying previously unseen patterns in their behavior, and in the very woodwork of their lives.
This book will likely be an inspiration to anyone who works in rendering data, who is interested in mail art or art journaling, and anyone who simply enjoys exploring the creatively examined life.