Affinity Map: Making Visible the Invisible

Affinity Map

The Affinity Map is a visualization method conceived to show the hidden dynamics that exist within large organizations. The present case study shows the effective collaboration practices and the potential affinities between the laboratories of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) at EPFL.

Graphical grammar

The Affinity Map is a tool to investigate interactions within ENAC in terms of joint teaching activities, co-supervision responsibilities, and co-authored publications. These affinities are arranged on two visual levels, showing collaborations between laboratories and between individuals of the same group. A private version of the map – accessible only to ENAC scholars – furthermore displays shared research terms between laboratories, suggesting both effective and potential affinities for interdisciplinary approaches. This version also features collaborations with academic and non-academic institutions outside of EPFL, shown respectively around each laboratory.

The project

The Affinity Map is a project launched and promoted by the Dean of ENAC, Prof. Marilyne Andersen. The current design was at the core of a PhD thesis conducted by Dario Rodighiero within the domain of Digital Humanities under the supervision of Prof. Frédéric Kaplan (DHLAB at EPFL) and Prof. Boris Beaude (ISS at UNIL).


  • Design and front-end development: Dario Rodighiero
  • Architecture and back-end development: Ogier Maitre
  • Server and data maintenance: Jean-Daniel Bonjour, Samuel Bancal, and Nicolas Dubois
  • Project management: Marie-Christine Buluschek and Antoine Guillemin
  • Supervision: Prof. Marilyne Andersen, Prof. Frédéric Kaplan, and Prof. Boris Beaude
  • Many thanks to colleagues who differently contributed to this project, listed here in alphabetical order: Consuelo Antille, Lauren Bolli, Vincent Buntinx, Pierpaolo Follia, Melany Gilis, Alexandre Gonzalez, Jean-Robert Gros, Claudio Leonardi, Cristina Perez, Orlin Topalov, and Cyril Veillon.

Scientific publications


For further information or comments, please contact Dario Rodighiero (DHLAB & ENAC) or Ogier Maitre (ENAC).

URL of Affinity Map

The Affinity Map will be available during the Summer 2018 at