Nucleus Blog

Data Humanism In Practice - Bruises, by Giorgia Lupi

Posted by Sean Shepherd on Feb 22, 2018 10:03:00 AM

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bruises

Giorgia Lupi is one of the most astonishing practitioners working the field of data visualization and design. Her tremendous body of work can be found all over the globe, demonstrating a breathtaking diversity.

Ranging across disparate data landscapes such as a hyper-personal postcard project to developing a data-driven brand identity for Hennessey, Lupi's inventiveness and creativity is unabashed as she makes her way through her described quest to make data more human.

However, it is one of her latest projects that may just represent a major leap forward for the field of data visualization.

One of the biggest challenges faced in the Digital Age is the constant tension between the hard language of algorithms and code and the soft, nuanced language of experience. Often, particularly in the field of data visualization, these two languages seem incompatible. However, to focus on one at the expense of the other leads inexorably toward error and/or false positives.

If the human at the end of the process (at least, for now it is still a human!) is to be able to extract meaningful information from the data, this tension between the exact and nuance must be overcome, somehow. 

The most obvious context for a project to tackle this most head-on is the area of healthcare and patient experience. 

And, life delivered a challenge for Giorgia Lupi and her friend and collaborator Kaki King in the form of a rare disease contracted by King's young daughter, Cooper. 

Through this incredibly stressful and difficult experience, Lupi and King used data collection, visualization and design in a different way, as Giorgia explains:

Through my work, I thought, I could try to help her process and communicate her emotions: the feelings anyone of us experience when coping with our own illness or that of a beloved one.

Using a unique data visualization that can only spring from the mind of Georgia Lupi, the two friends created a data narrative to help navigate through the difficult time. 

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Creating a new taxonomy and visual language allowed the two to express both the emotions of both mother and data AND the medical data that was driving the science that was combatting the illness.

In doing so, Lupi and King created a visual story that relaxes the tension between the science and the emotion, communicating both the hard and the soft language that comprise the total experience. 

The result is not only informative, it is also emotive, resulting in a data visualization that represents the experience as a whole, not as a part.

Read the full story here.

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Topics: user experience, data visualization