Michael Sorkin (1948-2020) was a principal of Michael Sorkin Studio, a global design practice working at all scales with a special interest in the city and green architecture. The Studio’s recent work includes the construction of offices and housing in China and Turkey, as well as extensive planning, architectural, urban, and landscape design in China, Australia, Northern Ireland, Turkey, the Philippines, and the U.S. Sorkin was president and founder of Terreform—a non-profit research and advocacy institute investigating the forms and practices of equitable, sustainable, and beautiful urbanism. Terreform has undertaken projects in Ecuador, Gaza, Mumbai, New York, New Orleans, and Chicago. In New York, Terreform is pursuing a speculative project—New York City (Steady) State—investigating the limits and logics of the city’s self-sufficiency. In 2016, Terreform launched a book series under the imprint UR (Urban Research).
Sorkin served as president of the Institute for Urban Design, and vice president of the Forum for Urban Design. He was a Distinguished Professor of Architecture and the Director Emeritus of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at The City College of New York. His previous academic engagements included appointments as Professor of Urbanism and Director of the Institute of Urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, the Gensler Chair at Cornell University, the Hyde Chair in Nebraska University, the Saarinen Chair in the University of Michigan, the Gilbert Chair in the University of Michigan, both the Davenport and Bishop Chairs at Yale University, and professorships at the Architectural Association, The Cooper Union, Harvard University, and Columbia University. He authored or edited 20 books on architecture and urbanism and was the architecture critic for The Nation. Sorkin was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow, and winner of the “Design Mind” National Design Award, and the AIA Award for Collaborative Design.