Leading the eponymous Michael Sorkin Studio, Michael championed sustainable design as well as verdant, inclusive, and chaotic public spaces. Through the nonprofit design studio Terreform, he rejected top-down planning projects and imagined alternatives with community advocates.
His writing and wit enticed the public to consider how architecture shapes society. From his early days as Village Voice architecture critic through his late career as publisher of the Urban Research imprint, he exhorted the design community to embrace social justice with exhilarating demands. His seminal books included Exquisite Corpse and Twenty Minutes in Manhattan.
Michael also inspired legions of architects and cultural theorists through his teaching and late night debates as a Distinguished Professor at City College of New York and universities around the world. As board member of the Architectural League of New York and founding president of the Urban Design Forum, he balanced generous collegiality with energizing defiance.
On the first anniversary of his loss to COVID-19, we will gather his comrades Trevor Boddy, Teddy Cruz & Fonna Forman, Eyal Weizman, and Sharon Zukin and his wife, Joan Copjec, to consider: what would Michael call on us to do next?
This event is sponsored jointly by The Architectural League of New York, The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, Terreform, and Urban Design Forum.