Cool! Cyclifier 3D Sankey Diagram on Food

Found on, a project run by Dutch 2012Architecten: This 3D Sankey diagram by Anna Brambilla visualizes flows of food from producers to the Rotterdam foodbank and onto low income households.

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The image is explained as follows:

“Processes and actors are identified by labeled platforms with sub-processes shown as stacked platforms. The system boundary is shown as an extruded block indicating that it is one piece within a larger network. Starting from the edges of the cyclifier, distances are marked in intervals to indicate the distances traveled by inputs and outputs. Flows are scaled by mass as in sankey diagrams and are color-coded per flow type. Flows to and from the atmosphere are represented as traveling vertically.”

So, we have ‘Food and Organics’ flows (green), transport (yellow), users (purple) and even volunteer labor (brown) represented in the diagram. No numbers or units given though. Since is interested in promoting “innovations that contribute to local exchange and production”, distances of producers to the foodbank and to the consumers are indicated on a somewhat logarithmic scale.

I just doubt that roughly a third of the output flows from food production is received by the foodbank. This is probaly to be taken symbolically and not for real…

Very cool Sankey diagram, kudos!

1 Comment

  1. cyclifier says:

    Thanks for sharing our research and spatial sankey’s. Around 10 of the 80 documented examples on our website have similar schemes. Some others contain more detailed information like×640.jpg×640.jpg
    It is a research in progress where we add more knowledge when it becomes available.
    We are still working on a update of some schemes and agree that the received amounts for the Foodbank are displayed too much out of scale. Also we’ve rearranged some of the flowpaths to make the image more clear.
    Another website that we’ve developed is which is part of a researchgroup for students in interior architecture. Producing Sankey’s and MFA’s is a primary skill we’ll teach them. Your site is of big inspiration.

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