RAND Unveils Innaugural Art + Data Residency Program With Giorgia Lupi

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Want to understand public policy a little better?

Well, there’s nothing quite like a little data visualization to help drive an issue home and make it that much more real. That’s likely why the RAND Corporation just launched their RAND Art + Data Residency program, seeking to combine the two fields so that folks can have a better grasp on public policy.

The new residency program will be curated by Design Matters podcast host Debbie Millman and DeeDee Gordon of future-minded LA branding agency The Gordon Co, highlighting both industry vets and emerging designers, mashing intricately detailed research into beautifully rendered data visualizations. Kicking off the residency will be information designer and Pentagram partner Giorgia Lupi with a visualization for the recent Rand report How to Transform the U.S. Mental Health System. According to the report, many Americans are not receiving the mental health treatment they need, particularly racial and ethnic minorities. With Lupi’s data visualization work, the goal is to use analytically inspired design to help bring about transformational change to the mental health care system in the US.

“As a data visualization designer focused on reconnecting numbers to what they stand for – stories, people, ideas – I am excited to explore new ways to visualize RAND's groundbreaking work, using data itself as a creative material to tell visual stories that we can all connect to,” said Giorgia Lupi in a press release. “It's an honor to be RAND's first data artist in residence, and I look forward to creating new types of data narratives, ones rooted in a humanistic approach to data, that can communicate important information about the world we live in today."

“As our culture has become more and more complicated, the ability to visualize information can provide people with a better way to understand it,” Debbie Millman added in the same press release. “We hope the RAND Art + Data Residency program will showcase how world-class artists can visualize non-partisan data in a telegraphic and compelling manner for all.”

As part of the residency program, a new artist will get chosen every quarter, creating monthly visualizations and bridging the gap on lightning rod policy issues like healthcare, education, and the environment.

“We hope this partnership with artists, whose vision and creativity can inspire people to think differently about policy, will help illustrate the relevance of policy issues to everyday life,” said RAND Vice President and Chief of Staff Jennifer Gould.