Thursday, 12 April 2018

Dear Data...

With not much to talk about in the colouring world ( and I'm sure you don't want me to bore you with my own colouring) I thought I'd tell you about a project I came across recently. I had been googling about postcards and I came across mention of the book Dear Data.

Buy it at - Amazon US;  Amazon UK;  Book Depository

Two young designers, who didn't know each other until meeting at an arts festival, decided to make and send each other postcards every week for a year. Stefanie lives in London and Giorgia lives in New York. They are both visual designers who love data.

Right, that got me interested. On occasions I've collected data about myself - mostly about what I eat! When their year was up, they put together a fascinating book, taking one week at a time and showing what they learnt about themselves and how they depicted this data in a postcard.

Each week they decided on a theme so that they were both focussed on the same subject. For example in week 1 they decided to keep data on how often they each checked what the time was during the day and week.

Giorgia allocated different symbols as she checked the time for - on purpose, just glanced, because she thought of the project, because she thought "don't look" but she did, because she was bored, because she was hungry, she heard someone say the time aloud. Then she also allocated attributes for checking the time - she was running late, she was fine, thought of her wrist watch, checking the alarm clock, glared at the clock while doing something else.
All this she collected up and displayed it as vertical columns of symbols, a column for each day.

Stefanie used different symbols for where she checked the time - phone, laptop, tablet, husband's phone, watch, car, microwave, friend's oven, church clock. She took note of what time of the day these time-checking events happened and came up with a lovely diagram that moved out from the centre in a star shape with little symbols on each arm. 

When they'd completed their postcards they mailed them to each other.

Here are some other themes they used - the number of times they said "thank you', smiled at strangers, the doors they walked through, meeting new people, frequency of negative thoughts, etc. They learnt a lot about themselves as well as each other.

All rather intriguing! As the weeks went by, the data often became more colourful with interesting patterns and drawings, but each one was an expression of data they'd collected. I can't show you any as that would break copyright, so instead, take a look at their website where you can read more about them and see many of these postcards - Dear Data Project website. Check your local library too, which is where I found my copy of the book.

Here is the image from their website - 

Dear Data Project website

Here's a video from their website - 

They have also produced a data postcard kit that two friends can share -

Buy it at - Amazon US;  Amazon UK;  Book Depository

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