This isn't to say that data visualizations can't become works of art made for public consumption. In fact, Thorp is well-known for his ability to translate complex clusters of data into meaningful illustrations that tell us more about the world that surrounds us. However, he says that it is also key to remember that sometimes, the process of visualizing data is just that—a process. It doesn't necessarily need to have an outcome. Instead, we should think of it as a way to crystallize the thought process and expand our thinking. “By thinking about visualization as a process instead of an outcome, we arm ourselves with an incredibly powerful thinking tool,” that makes “[data visualization become] much more than just the end of a sentence.”
In his stunning talks, Thorp explains that the numbers and stats all around us have meaningful applications to our lives. While data seems artificial in nature, it is rooted in the human experience—something he argues is incredibly important. Thorp lectures at New York University, and has also launched The Office for Creative Research with a group of his peers. In his many roles, he explores the way data reflects our humanity—and finds ways to showcase the tremendous possibilities that exist when we know how to effectively harness it.