Giorgia Lupi is an award winning information designer.
She co-founded Accurat, a data-driven design firm with offices in Milan and New York where she is the design director. She received her M-Arch at FAF in Ferrara, Italy, and earned a PhD in Design at Politecnico di Milano.
She relocated to New York City from Italy where she now lives. She is co-author of Dear Data, an aspirational hand drawn data visualization book you will find in bookshops in the US (Princeton Architectural Press) and UK (Penguin Random House UK). The original set of postcards has been recently acquired as part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
She gave a TED TALK on her Humanistic approach to Data, the video will be on the TED website soon.
Giorgia Lupi is an award winning information designer.
Her work in information visualization frequently crosses the divide between digital and print, exploring visual models and metaphors to represent dense and rich data-driven stories. Her work and research challenges the impersonality that data might communicate, designing engaging visual narratives able to connect numbers to what they stand for: knowledge, behaviors, people.
After graduating in Architecture at Ferrara University in 2006 she has been involved in multidisciplinary projects on the information, technology and interaction design fields, using design and data visualization to convey complex systems of information.
She is co-founder and design director at Accurat, a data-driven research, design and innovation firm based in Milan and New York.
Accurat analyzes data and contexts and designs analytical tools and visual narratives that provide awareness, comprehension and engagement. Accurat was born in 2011 and since then has been working successfully with important Italian and international clients such as Google, IBM, JPMorgan, the European Union / FP7 Program, United Nations Development Programme, World Food Programme, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, The Audubon Society, New York Public Library, Wired / Conde Nast, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Hearst Communications, Scientific American, Fast Company, Popular Science, Corriere della Sera, RCS/Rizzoli Mediagroup, Rai Television, Pernod-Ricard, McCann Worldgroup, Hewlett-Packard, Unicredit Group, ING Direct Italy, among all.
From 2011 to 2014 she has been a PhD candidate in Design at Politecnico di Milano, within Density Design Lab.
She has been visiting researcher at Parsons the New School for Design within PIIM (the Parsons Institute for Information Mapping) from September 2012 to March 2013. She obtained the PhD cum meritum in 2014 with a thesis titled “Visualizing the User Generated cities – Exploring the potentiality of emergent geo-social media applications as a novel source of urban knowledge”.
Her work has been published and featured on the New York Times, Wired, the Guardian, Boing Boing, Brainpickings, Time Magazine, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Forbes, National Geographic, Slate, Flash Art, Art Tribune, the Daily Mail, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Hyperallergic, It's Nice that, Printmag, CoolHunting, Boooooooom, The Creative Review, Fast Company, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, CNN Money, The Atlantic, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, Vice Magazine, Corriere della Sera, Il Post, La Repubblica, Marie Claire, Interni, La Stampa, Ottagono, l’Arca International, Courier International, El Pais, among all.
Her work has been featured in recent books such as “Understanding the World – The Atlas of Infographics”, “The Best American Infographics 2014, 2015 and 2016 edition, “The information designers sketchbooks” by Steven Heller, “An Infographic History of the world”, “Around the World: The Atlas for Today”, “Visual Simplexity”, “INFOGRAPHICS — Designing & Visualizing Data”, “New Challenges for Data Design” among all.
She keynoted at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, PopTech conference, the Eyeo Festival, the Fast Company Innovation by Design awards Festival, Visualized Conference, the New York City Center for Innovation through Data intelligence, Tapestry Conference, Resonate Festival, The international Journalism Festival, Wired Next Fest, Google Kings’ Cross London, StrataConference , New York City Public Library, MediaEvolutionConference among all.
She lectured at the Museum of Modern Art, the School of Visual Arts, Parsons - The New School for Design, the New York University - ITP program, the Columbia University- School of Journalism, Codecademy, UCL London, Politecnico di Milano, NABA - New Academy of Fine Arts Milan, among all.
She has been interviewed by Science Friday, PSFK magazine, Five Thirty Eight, Fast Co-Design, CBC Radio, Design Boom magazine, The Future of Brands Magazine, I-Charts, the Walker Art Center, Data-stories podcast, Substratum Series, SFU Italian Design, the Legacy Project among all.
Her work won important awards: Gold Medal in Data visualization Projects and Most Beautiful Projects at the Kantar Information is beautiful awards 2015, Gold Medal for data-visualization and Special Mention for best studio at the Kantar Information is beautiful awards 2014, Gold Medal for data journalism at O’Reilly Strata, Bronze Medal at Malofiej 2013, Bronze Lion at Cannes Festival 2013, Special Mention in Core77 Design Awards. She has also been awarded with the prestigious "Lezioni di Design" Prize within the Design Week, Milan, 2016.
She exhibited at: the London Science Museum, the New York Hall of Science, The Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, Triennale Milano, The Isreali Museum of Art, the Disnovation Festival 2015 and 2015 in Bordeaux, France; Big Bang Data Exhibition at the Somerset House in London, Milan Design Week 2016 among all.
She has been a judge for the Kantar Information is beautiful awards 2014, 2015, 2016, and for the Popular Science "15 Charts, Graphs and Maps that will Shape the Future of Information" contest 2014. She will be on the Interaction Awards Jury 2017.
She is co-author Dear Data in collaboration with data artist Stefanie Posavec, published by Penguin, Particular Books in the UK, and by Princeton Architectural Press in North America.
Dear Data has been recently nominated for the DesignMuseum Beazley Designs of the Year 2016, and is among the finalists for the Innovation By Design Awards 2016.
The original set of postcards has been acquired as part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, in November 2016.
I am an Italian information designer living in New York.
I have always been a data collector in my life, I remember how, as a child, I loved to collect and organize all kind of items into transparent folders that I would then tag with maniacal care. Colored pieces of papers, little stones, pieces of textiles from my grandmother’s tailor-shop, buttons, sales receipts and many more formed my collections, and I remembers the pleasure of categorizing my treasures according to their colors, sizes and dimensions and drawing tiny labels to specify how to read them.
But It wasn’t until later in my life that I discovered the word “data” and its marvelous extensions.
It wasn't until lately, in fact, that I started working with data visualization. It came natural to me to progressively focus more on the quantitative side within the information design field, and when I got to understand the true potential of working visually with structured data to convey information about phenomena or contexts, I immediately felt in love with this world and the realm of possibility it opens.
I see data visualization as the combination of my ‘artistic’ (or, better said, emotional) side and my rational and scientific one; I have a background in architecture and my mind needs to structure and organize information, but my eyes and my spirit need to see and invent unexpected visuals every time.
I enjoy designing visual artifacts that have a logical and structural sense, I don’t take pleasure in producing graphic designs per se, I do instead take pleasure in shaping visual ways to represent quantitative and rigorous parameters.
What drives me in what I do is the overlapping space between analysis and intuition, between logic and beauty, between numbers and images.
My work in information visualization frequently crosses the divide between digital and print, exploring visual models and metaphors to represent rich data-driven stories. Both in my day job and in my personal research as a data visualization designer and artist, I focus my practice on experimenting on new visual ways and new visual languages to represent datato make it more “humane” more “contextual” and engaging, and definitely less scary and cold.
I draw and sketch a lot with data, this is really my entry point to understanding what is in the number and what are the most interesting and “tailored” / appropriate visual representation of it according to their very nature and kind, which is different every time. I sketch with data even when - as the 99% of the times happen - the final output is digital.
In my work with data, I always start from sketching, and I approach data in a very handcrafted way.
Sketching with data, and removing technology from the equation before bringing it back, introduces novel ways of thinking, and ultimately leads to designs that are uniquely customized for the specific type of data problems we are working with. I draw to freely explore possibilities. I draw to visually understand what I am thinking, I draw to evaluate my ideas and intuitions by seeing them coming to life on paper, I draw to help my mind thinking without limitations, without boundaries. I see data in my drawings.
With my work I question a merely technological approach to data. Data is more than numbers, it always represents real life, it can be a snapshot of the world in the same way that a picture catches small moments in time. With my work, I challenge the impersonality that data might communicate, designing visual narratives that connect numbers to what they stand for: knowledge, behaviors, people.
After graduating in Architecture, I have been involved in multidisciplinary projects in the information, technology and interaction design fields; investigating the role that data can have to describe architectural practices as a visual designer for experimental architecture firm LEAA, and experimenting on data-driven interactive visual storytelling in physical spaces within my collaboration with N!03 studio. I then joined Interaction Design Lab where I led a design team working on urban mapping projects.
In 2011 I started a PhD in Design Milan Politecnico, at Density Design Lab where I researched on the potential of text mining methods applied to geo-localized User Generated content to extract and analyze pattern of usage of urban environments. Part of my PhD Thesis has been published as a text book from Springer. I obtained the title of PhD cum Meritum in 2014, after a 6 months period as a visiting researcher at the Parsons Institute for Information Mapping in New York.
In 2011, I also co-founded Accurat, an information design agency based in Milan and New York; Accurat analyzes data and contexts and designs analytical tools and visual narratives that provide awareness, comprehension and engagement.
At Accurat, we’ve been designing a series of exploratory data-visualizations within our 2 years long collaboration with La Lettura, Corriere della Sera. In this collaboration we always aimed at opening new perspectives in the newspaper-editorial field, and higher aimed at educating readers’ eyes to get familiar with new visual ways to convey the richness of the data stories we are telling rather than simplifying them.
Our work for La Lettura won major international awards such as the Gold Medal for Data Visualization at the Information is Beautiful Awards, The Gold Medal for Data Journalism at the Strata Conference, a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Festival among all. It has been featured and mentioned on several outlets such as The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, Brain Pickings, among all.
In the last 5 years at Accurat, we collaborated successfully with banks and financial institutions, large and small tech ventures, major publishers and media companies, international public bodies and businesses across different industries. We have been designing and developing interactive experiences to bring people closer to understanding the real value of information through visual data-narratives of different kinds.
One of the most challenging work of the past year was our collaboration with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. We conceived and deployed what we called Friends in Space, a 6 months long open window to let people interact with her while she was on the I.S.S. part of the Futura 42 Mission: a data driven experience based that focused on the importance of reconnecting numbers to what they stand for: people, behaviors, our lives.
In 2014 I started a year long analog project called Dear Data: a life changing collaboration with London based data illustrator Stefanie Posavec. Every week and for a year we’ve been manually collecting our personal data around a shared topic, used this data to make a drawing on a postcard-sized sheet of paper, and then dropped the postcard on the mailbox to be delivered to the other person. We’ve been getting to know each other through our data and with our drawings, with the goal of showing that data is not scary and not necessarily big but ever present in our daily life, and you don’t need to be a statistician or a programmer to approach it.
The project has turned into a book published by Penguin, Particular Books in the UK, and by Princeton Architectural Press in the US.
A selection of our postcards has been displayed at the StoreFront for Art and Architecture in New York, the Science Museum in London, the Somerset House in London, the Milan Design week. Dear Data won the Gold Medal for Data visualization and the Most Beautiful Project Award at the Information is Beautiful 2015. We had the pleasure to give the opening Keynote Speech at the Eyeo Festival, and the Closing Keynote at the Visualized Conference in 2015. Dear Data has been nominated for the DesignMuseum Beazley Designs of the Year 2016, and is among the finalists for the Innovation By Design Awards 2016. A full list of our interviews and press is available on the projects' pages.
The original collection of the Dear Data postcards and the preparatory sketchbooks is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
Currently, I am the Design Director at Accurat and I direct the New York office.
In my PopTech talk, I spoke about how we always associate data with more efficiency, more automation, while I argue we can absolutely use data to become more human, to connect with ourselves and others at a deeper level, if we design the right ways to do it.
My current personal research focuses in various way on how we can investigate and reveal aspect of our human life and essence through the world of data.
In a 10 page essay that is published on Print-Mag in the Fall 2016 Issue, I explored and defined what I call DATA HUMANISM, that I hope will be the next and new way to approach data in our lives.
I recently gave a TED talk about my humanistic approach to Data Visualization.
As the curators describe
"Giorgia Lupi was 13 when Silvio Berlusconi shocked many in Italy by becoming prime minister in 1994. Why was that election result so surprising, she wondered? And as she learned, it’s because of incomplete data that had been gathered during the campaign. The available data was simply too limited and imprecise, too skewed to give any real picture of what was going on. In the aftermath of America’s 2016 election, where most data analysts predicted the wrong outcome, Lupi, the co-founder of data firm Accurat, suggests that such events highlight larger problems behind data’s representation. When we focus on creating powerful headlines and simple messages, we often lose the point completely, forgetting that data alone cannot represent reality; that beneath these numbers, human stories transform the abstract and the uncountable into something that can be seen, felt and directly reconnected to our lives and to our behaviors. What we need, she says, is data humanism. “To make data [sets] faithfully representative of our human nature, and to make sure they won’t mislead us anymore, we need to start designing new ways to include empathy, imperfection and human qualities in how we collect, process, analyze and display them.”
The video will be on the TED website soon.