Giorgia Lupi (Ep. 47): Discovering ourselves through data

Giorgia Lupi (Ep. 47): Discovering ourselves through data

What can data tell us about our own humanity? Giorgia Lupi is an information designer, artist and author with a love for creatively representing all types of data. She’s the co-founder and design director of the Design firm Accurat and few years ago, embarked on a small creative project with a friend. Every week they tracked a feeling, behavior, or event and then hand drew a postcard visualizing what they had tracked. These post cards are delightful and were aggregated in a book called and last year were acquired by MoMA’s permanent collection (yet still, Giorgia was left wondering what’s next). What made this side project break through? It turns out that tracking these “mundane details” has the unintended consequence of putting us more in touch with our thoughts; forcing us to hit “pause” on our frenetic lives. And at the end, Giorgia shares a simple way for all of us to set up small data projects on our own lives.

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When you have that internal itch, you always feel that it’s never enough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so lucky, grateful and privileged to have had such opportunities.  I do remember one moment last year, I was called to do a TED talk. It was the most work I’ve ever done, it was something that I wanted more than getting into MOMA. And after I gave my talk, I went out for dinner with my husband and I was like “And now…” and he said No! Not tonight! Stop it! At least not tonight! It’s crazy, because you feel like “once I have that thing” it will be it, I will be finally ok with myself.

The power of noticing negative thoughts

Noticing your negative thoughts gave me the tools to investigate my mind. At the beginning, I found it difficult to grasp what a negative thought was; was it confusion, fear, or anxiety? And when you are on the go, the negative thoughts can linger for hours [unnoticed]. Having the task to stop, acknowledging, name it and even determine an action to overcome it. It gives you such a superpower!

Were you surprised by any of your behaviors?

Everybody would learn that we all fail to notice the nice things peoples for me. For example, we tracked the interactions with our husbands and how they made us feel. And I would notice all these tiny things he does for me – carrying my bag, always being very attentive, putting my needs before his, letting me eat with my hands off his plate. It’s an assumption that the world works like that.  I learned that I failed to notice the positive acts of the people closer to me.

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