An artful, immersive data visualization installation created by renowned information designer Giorgia Lupi and her team at Pentagram is now on view at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), in The Bronx, New York City, as part of the garden-wide exhibition Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love, examining the art and science of foodways and food traditions and celebrating plants as foundational to all culinary customs.
Around the World’s Table will help visitors understand the global impact of food production and consumption on the planet. On display in the reflecting pool of the Palms of the World Gallery in NYBG’s historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the installation is made up of 100 partially submerged sculptures representing the major food groups we consume, their share in the global diet, and their relative carbon footprint.
This is the first data sculpture conceived by Lupi, who is known for her human-centered approach to data visualization and storytelling.
Using the basin of the pool as a metaphor for the world, the size of the installation reflects the percentage of the world’s habitable land used for agriculture — roughly 50%. The color, height, placement, and features of the sculptures visually represent 2019 data on global food production and consumption gathered from the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization and Our World in Data — an open-source knowledge-sharing platform for scholars and researchers.
The work will be accompanied by a detailed legend to help visitors decode the installation and engage with the layered data behind it.
Lupi, whose work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and has been exhibited in museums around the world, is a pioneer of data humanism, an approach she defines as transforming the abstract world of data into something that can be seen, felt, and tangibly connected to human behavior.
Around the World’s Table will be on view through September 11th, 2022. For more information visit the New York Botanical Garden website.
Photo of Around the World’s Table courtesy the New York Botanical Garden.