Early last year we mentioned a project called Dear Data, in which two ladies across the Atlantic exchanged drawn infographic postcards every week, detailing one specific aspect of their lives. Things such as complaints they uttered or compliments they’ve received, or even very specific things like animals they saw or doors they went through were all counted and sketched into white postcards, and then posted to each other. They kept it up for a whole year, collecting data and turning the experiment into a weekly ritual of discovery.
The project was so popular that it didn’t surprise me to discover it was edited in a book format recently, and I think it’s even better to browse the postcards this way, in an analogue format equivalent to that in which they came to life.
The postcard images remain intriguing and unreadable at first glance, inviting further investigation in order to decode them. The legends on the back though are super detailed and often contain several layers of information to add to their complexity… it’s astonishing to realize how much data they must have collected over the year!
The pages in-between postcards are also funny and often provide insights or little anecdotes into Stefanie and Georgia’s lives… like how they both discovered their love for Haribo gummy bears on week 17!
Slowly, throughout the book, you also realise how a conversation is happening between the designers through their correspondence, how they’re getting to know each other and thinking a bit more about their lives through the analysis that is taking place in real time.
All in all, Dear Data is a remarkable book, inspiring us to slow down and really observe what is happening all around… and then grab our pens to put all these interesting details into our postcards!
PS – Sadly, it’s also very noticeable on the book how badly US machines treat their outbound mail… Why, USPS, why?! 😠