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Discovering the Human Story in Data with Giorgia Lupi

In an intimate episode of the MINDED podcast, Giorgia Lupi, a distinguished figure in the realm of information design and a partner at the renowned design firm Pentagram, shared insights that illuminate her innovative approach to data visualization. Lupi, who has called New York her home for the past 12 years, embodies the spirit of the city’s relentless pace and its rich tapestry of creativity and innovation.

Lupi’s journey from Italy to the forefront of information design in New York is a tale of passion meeting opportunity. Her initial foray into the field during a PhD course led her to a pivotal six-month visit to a small lab at Parsons in New York. This experience not only anchored her love for the city but also solidified her path in data visualization, a field she had been unconsciously preparing for since her childhood in Italy, surrounded by the materials of her grandmother’s tailor shop. Here, Lupi engaged in what she now recognizes as early forms of data organization, laying the foundation for her future work.

The conversation delved into Lupi’s views on the transformation of data visualization from a predominantly technology-driven field to one that embraces a more human-centric and nuanced approach. She discussed the importance of bridging the gap between complex data and creating visually engaging narratives that resonate with people on a personal level. According to Lupi, "Data is an obstruction of our lives that you can look at one subject at a time," emphasizing that the essence of data lies in its ability to narrate our human experiences beyond the numbers.

Giorgia Lupi x MINDED podcast
Courtesy of Giorgia Lupi

A significant part of the discussion was dedicated to "Dear Data," Lupi’s groundbreaking collaboration with Stefanie Posavec, which epitomizes her philosophy. The project, a year-long data correspondence through hand-drawn postcards, not only received acclaim and recognition from prestigious institutions like the Museum of Modern Art but also inspired educators and individuals worldwide to explore data visualization in more personal and creative ways.

Lupi also shared her anticipation for the future, including the role of AI in design and her upcoming endeavors, such as a children’s book that aims to teach about data without explicitly mentioning it. This project, co-authored with Madeline Gardner, reflects Lupi’s ongoing quest to demystify and humanize data for all ages.

Giorgia Lupi’s narrative is not just about data; it’s about finding the stories within the data that connect us all. Her work encourages us to look beyond the surface, to see the human experiences, emotions, and stories that data encompasses. As we navigate an increasingly data-driven world, Lupi’s perspective offers a refreshing and profoundly human approach to understanding the numbers that shape our lives.

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Giorgia Lupi x MINDED podcast
Courtesy of Giorgia Lupi

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