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Tangible Data Narrative

This was an attempt to experiment with data and storytelling. How both can act like catalysts for each other and raise important questions.


-If we represent data tangibly can it arouse emotions and make us empathetic to the data? The sole interest of this was to make an impact on the users who were to consume this data.

-Also can we make data consuming a conscious activity so that it can be a conversation starter.

-In a data abundant age, how can we make data consumption a more meaningful experience and lead to a two way dialogue?

-Can quantitative data be morphed into a qualitative data?

The quantitative data for this experiment was distribution of Indian population on basis of religion. Since India as a nation is strongly religion centric, it has evolved habits, thoughts, behaviours, culture and clothing as its pivot points of transformation.

Now the next challenge was to represent religion(something that’s omnipresent but an invisible factor) tangibly.

Upon tracing back religion and its ripples, there was a major impact observed on clothing. Clothing was seen as nothing but beliefs worn.It is a tangible communicator that provides a canvas to illustrate one’s identity, beliefs, social and political order.

“Clothing concerns all of human, all of the relationships from man to body as well as relationship from body to society”

-Roland Barthes

Examples from history:

Gartel is a belt worn by Jewish males to physically separate their upper and lower part of the body as they believe heart is pure and genitalia as impure.

Within strictly codified religions, such as Islam, the control of female sexuality by men exercising patriarchal power is played out through total coverage of the female body by Burqa

Excerpt From: Lynne Hume. “The Religious Life of Dress”

Putting data down tangibly:


The religions have been represented with their respective clothing: Hindus(yellow), Muslims(black) ,Christianity (red) ,Sikhism (blue) and Jain (white). I’ve tried representing this quantitative data through exact measurements of fabric from their respective religious clothing.

Yellow cloth representing the majority religion in India - Hindu.

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(left)Hindu laying a foundation for other religions,
(right) Hindu overshadowing other religions

If you still haven’t figured, it’s the Yellow cloth(Hindu). The point of telling a different narrative with the same data was to raise the question of what the present scenario of India is, the right or left data? If the majority religion is empowering or intimidating the minority?


Data can be beyond stating numbers and facts. It can be bitter a yet clarifying experience, it can spur a two-way dialogue between data and consumer.

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