During the continued exploration of emerging trends in New Information Environments, I came across an interesting example of data collection and transmission.
Dear Data is a year-long, analog data drawing project by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, two award-winning information designers living on different sides of the Atlantic. The pair chose weekly topics to collect and analyze data from observations of daily living. This collected information was then visualized in a series of postcards that provided the data as well as a set of instructions for reading the date.
The women describe this process as “slow data” transmission.
“By creating and sending the data visualizations using analogue instead of digital means, we are really just doing what artists have done for ages, which is sketch and try to capture the essence of the life happening around them. However, as we are sketching life in the modern digital age, life also includes everything that is counted, computed, and measured. We are trying to capture the life unfolding around us, but instead we are capturing this life through sketching the hidden patterns found within our data.”
By tracking behaviors such as cell phone usage,
looking in mirrors and complaining, this platform of slow data collecting opens up the potential for self-awareness.
This line of pondering reminds me of a data collection tool I’ve used in the past. Track Your Happiness is a scientific research project that investigates what makes life worth living. The app aims to use modern technology to track an individuals happiness to find out what factors are associated with their greater happiness.
A common theme uncovered in the data collected from Track Your Happiness is that people tend to be less happy when they are not present in the moment.
This begs the questions, how might the process of collecting, analyzing, and visualizing personal behavioral data (such as in the Dear Data project) increase our overall sense of well-being?