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4D Island is a not-for-profit design research studio with a focus on climate, ecology and regenerative design with the agenda to develop new spatial intelligences, material understandings and adaptation strategies with front line communities in the Global South.

Our investigations and projects aim to co-create novel solutions to climate adaptation beyond conventional architectural approaches, scales, and considerations by combining data, mapping, computational methods while incorporating local knowledge and embodied experiences.

Our current region of focus is the Indian Ocean and in particular the Maldives, a Small Island Developing State.

What We Do

We offer a range of consulting and design services, with a focus on deploying geographic data for urban, territorial and climate diagnosis with a focus on mapping, data visualization and community engagement.

How & Why

We adopt a studio approach to projects that focuses on exploring and innovating through design research. with the aim to pair local knowledge with innovative systems thinking that can work through scales, time frames and physical medium. From the scale of climatic territories to that of a building or community interface.

We reject the approach of seeking simplistic and single solutions, instead believing in a process of prototyping and testing that embraces complexity and uncertainty to positively navigate changing systems. We do this by combining top-down and bottom-up approaches and using computational and simulation processes to create evidence-based designs strengthened with local knowledge, knowhow and embodied experiences.

Climate justice is social justice, which empowers communities and local visions of vulnerability through open and collaborative design processes. With the agenda of working towards resiliency, adaptation and prosperity for all. Ultimately challenging extractive or short term models of development with environmentally centred and regenerative principles.

For these methods to be effective, we believe in creating tools that are scalable, economical, and flexible enough to be used in various scenarios. However, we do not believe in a purely technical approach; in the absence of certainty in model-based scenarios, community-based adaptation and local visions of vulnerability need to inform a notable component of development.

We see our role as designers as making these ideas, relationships, and insights understandable and accessible to non-design and non-technical audiences ; through conversation, narrative-based explanations, visual material, local capacity building or through physical mediums.

Who We Are

Ben Pollock and Oscar McDonald, both UK-registered architects, founded 4D Island in 2016 to explore alternative modes of architectural practice with a focus on climate, ecology, and regenerative design. They aim to co-develop new spatial intelligences, material understandings, and adaptation strategies with frontline communities.
Ben Pollock <CV>

Oscar McDonald <CV>


Atollscape, Maldives
MSpace, Maldives
Space Syntax, London
Aisha Niyas , Maldives - Environmental Consultant & Activist
Nadh Ha Naseer, Maldives - Computational Urban Designer

Contact & Info

We are open to ongoing collaborations and enquiries - emails us!

︎ 4d.island@gmail.com

︎  @4d_Island
︎  @4d_Island

Website design by 4D Island

4D island is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales. Company no. 12636027

Copyright - 4D Island CIC 2022