Staying Home Matters #2: Dear Data

Some countries have eased corona restrictions, we’re allowed to do a bit more now than we could these past months. However, visiting family or friends further away won’t be possible for a while. Luckily there are many ways to (virtually) keep in touch with each other through social media or video calls, but during this time people have also rediscovered the value of postcards.

Among those people are Stefanie Posavec and Giorgia Lupi, who decided to revive the postcard way before the corona outbreak with their project Dear Data in 2015. Italian Giorgia Lupi and American Stefanie Posavec met for the first time during a design festival. Their connection led to a promise to stay in touch. Not through email, but the old-fashioned way, as penpals. Every week they sent each other a postcard from their homes in London and New York, provided with a graphic experiment. The challenge wasn’t just the visualisation, but also choosing a topic and collecting data. It became a daily ritual to count all sorts of things; from animals in the wild, overheard conversations, their own wardrobes and bookcases to feelings and new contacts. Everything can be measured and visualised.

During the current corona-crisis has become more popular than ever. Stefanie and Giorgia also decided to send each other a new Dear Data postcard after a 5-year hiatus: a week of lockdown connections. For one week, they kept track of all the ways they interacted with friends, family, neighbours, and essential workers in order to celebrate these human connections.

Win a Dear Data postcard kit!
Want to start sending postcards yourself? Well, do we have news for you. We are giving away 3 Dear Data postcard kits! Let us know on Facebook or Instagram who you’d like to send a postcard, and what topic you want to track and visualise.

All 104 postcards were brought together in a fascinating book and are currently held in the permanent collection of MoMA in New York. The cards were exhibited during the 7th edition of Graphic Matters in 2019, where Stefanie also hosted a masterclass about data design.

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