Making Waves: Organizational gigamap


Oslo School of Architecture and Design

Angel L. Lamar Oliveras

Making waves gigamap


This Giga-map is an approach to Making Waves, a design consultancy firm in Scandinavia. The map shows multiple scales, systems and sub-systems that are within the company. It also portrays the complex web of structures that form part of organizations, and what are some of the components they may need to operate. In hindsight, one of the more interesting parts of this map is the “culture” area, where the relationship between people’s formation, professional mindsets and team cultures intersect. This is of utmost interest because it relates to the more “fuzzy” parts of organizations, which is the way that people relate across teams and silos.

In the Giga-map I tried to visualize processes from clients, meetings, team building, “tenders”, on-boarding, and employee “cycles”; layouts across workspaces and floors, project types, work tools, customer touch-points, connections to the other North Alliance companies, employee roles, and more.

Reading the Map

The diagram below shows the main parts of the Giga-map. The lighter colors indicate a more generalized view of the company, while the darker shades are related to more profound parts of the system. I recommend reading from the top left and then follow the threads from there on, as there is no set “path” for reading. The figures in the map represent different roles of employees; their description can be seen on the upper left of the “Team Processes” segment.


Author. (2020). Article title. In Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD9) 2020 Symposium. India, October 9-17, 2020.

Download the map

Posted Oct-2020


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Suggested Citation Format

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. In Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) 20XX Symposium. City, Country, Month X-X, 20XX.

Creative Commons Licence

Systems Mapping

Birger Sevaldson of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design first introduced the gigamap technique. The gigamap takes an architectural and descriptive approach to complex projects. The technique has been extended to synthesis maps and system design complexity maps.

The synthesis map is used at OCAD University to translate multiple knowledge perspectives and illustrate the dilemmas and challenges within a complex system scenario. System design complexity maps are the outcome of an academic project at the National Institute of Design. They use metaphor and a central theme to make complex issues accessible for sharing and participatory work with multiple stakeholders.

Types of Systemic Relations (Urban Habitat Design) by Birger Sevaldson, RSD5

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