Dear Data is a year-long, analog data drawing project
by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec.

The beginning:
We are two women leading lives that are in parallel with each other, but living them in different places.

We’re both the same age, we’re both only children, and we’ve both left our home countries to travel across the ocean and live in a metropolis of our chosen country.

We also both work with data, using a hand-crafted and illustrative approach to the data visualizations we create.

And most important of all: we both love drawing! With all these similarities, but having met only twice in person, we wanted to get to know each other better; and since data and data visualization is the language that we speak every day for work, we’ve decided to use this process as our mode of communication.

The project:
Each week, and for a year, we collected and measured a particular type of data about our lives, used this data to make a drawing on a postcard-sized sheet of paper, and then dropped the postcard in an English “postbox” (Stefanie) or an American “mailbox” (Giorgia)!

Eventually, the postcard arrived at the other person’s address with all the scuff marks of its journey over the ocean: a type of “slow data” transmission.

By creating and sending the data visualizations using analogue instead of digital means, we have been really just doing what artists have done for ages, which is sketch and try to capture the essence of the life happening around them. However, as we are sketching life in the modern digital age, life also includes everything that is counted, computed, and measured.

The process:

Every week we chose a topic we wanted to explore about our days and lives, and on Monday started our separate-but-parallel data collection.

The data-collecting ended the evening of the following Sunday, and through the course of the following week we would analyse our data and draw our postcard, all the while collecting the next dataset.

On Monday we scanned and dropped our data postcard into the mailbox/postbox.

The postcards:
The data drawing is shown on the front of the postcard, while the back always includes a “how to read it” key to enable the other to understand the data collection and insight behind the drawing.

Also, we have been keeping records of the entire process including our notes, our preliminary sketches and photos to document how our data collections and drawing evolves through time, found in the 'by weeks' section of the site.

Want to know more about it?
Watch our Talk at the Eyeo Festival 2015.

Listen to Dear Data at: Five Thirty EightCBC Spark RadioData StoriesPolicyViz1, and

Selected press:
BrainpickingsFlowing DataWiredVice - The Creators ProjectThe Daily Mail (!) Fast Company - CoDesignFusion.netWashington PostThe Huffington PostLa Lettura (ITA), DesignTaxiPrintMagazine,   io9Courrier International (FR), KottkeVisualisingdataFrizziFrizzi (ITA),Design WeekPostcrossingBoooooooomMarieClaire (ITA)The GuardianSomerset House / BigBangData (interview).

A selection of our cards has been exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, in New York. 
The whole collection has been part of the Big Bang Data exhibition at the Somerset House in London.
The reproductions of our postcards is part of the BreraDesignDistrict at Fuorisalone, Milan 2016.
We presented Dear Data at the "It takes two" night at the Guggenheim Muesum in New York.

Dear Data won the Gold Medal in "Data Visualization Projects" category ; and "The most Beautiful Project" at the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2015