RAND Launches Art + Data Residency Program with Guest Curator Debbie Millman

For Release

June 24, 2021

Residency at the research organization will highlight work of Giorgia Lupi and other artists as they develop data-rich visualizations inspired by RAND's public policy research

The RAND Corporation is launching the RAND Art + Data Residency, its newest artist-in-residency program focused on merging the worlds of art and data to help us better understand public policy issues.

The RAND Art + Data Residency is curated by Debbie Millman, designer and host of the award-winning podcast “Design Matters,” and by The Gordon Co, a future-focused strategy and branding agency founded by DeeDee Gordon. The residency will spotlight both established and emerging artists as they document the intricate process of creating artistically inspiring data visualizations rooted in rigorous research and analysis.

The inaugural artist is renowned information designer Giorgia Lupi, whose work appears in The New York Times and who is coauthor of Dear Data, a collaborative, analog-based documentation of new, often radically different methods of data visualizations. Her first visualization is based on the RAND report How to Transform the U.S. Mental Health System. She brings the research to life through a thought-provoking design that will improve people's understanding of mental health challenges in the United States.

“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,” Lupi said. “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.”

Since 1948, RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, has leveraged rigorous analysis to transform research into fact-based, actionable solutions that help make communities worldwide safer, healthier, and more prosperous. Lupi is among several artists RAND has partnered with over the years to inform and inspire discourse around public policy.

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

RAND's Art + Data Residency program is part of the new NextGen Initiative, a series of ongoing projects focused on introducing RAND's cutting-edge capabilities and extensive public policy research to younger generations.

“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,” RAND Vice President and Chief of Staff Jennifer Gould said.

The year-long residency will reveal a behind-the-scenes look at data visualization, an interdisciplinary field that fuses art with data to create visual narratives that help us understand information in new ways.

Each quarter, a different artist will release a series of monthly visualizations aimed at building awareness around pressing public policy issues including health care, education, international affairs, energy, and the environment.

The first RAND Art + Data visualization on mental health can be viewed at the Art + Data page on RAND's website. For high-resolution images or to schedule an interview with Gould, Millman, or Lupi, please contact cheryl@thegordonco.com.

About the RAND Corporation

RAND is a global research and analysis organization dedicated to deep knowledge and ingenuity. We are nonpartisan and nonprofit, committed to solving the toughest problems facing the world today.

Our people—including 1,000 researchers who are experts from more than 350 disciplines—bring a diverse range of professional, educational, and cultural backgrounds to their project teams. They dig deeply into issues that directly impact the lives of people everywhere, including healthcare, equity, energy & the environment, and employment & jobs.

We also educate the policy leaders of tomorrow through the Pardee RAND Graduate School, which offers a full-time Ph.D. program in policy analysis—the first and largest of its kind in the country.

About RAND

RAND is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.