Michael Sorkin, Architect & Educator, Passes Away after Contracting Coronavirus

Michael Sorkin, noted architect, urbanist, theorist, author, and director emeritus of Graduate Urban Design Program of the City College of New York (CCNY), passed away on 26 March 2020, due to complications resulting from COVID-19. His death follows that of Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti, 92, designer of Palermo's ZEN neighbourhood and the renovation of Barcelona's Olympic stadium, who died earlier this month of Coronavirus, COVID-19.

Sorkin was born in Washington DC in 1948. He gained a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1970 and completed a master's in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology four years later. Sorkin is widely celebrated as one of the top architectural minds of the last half-century and his influence has been felt across the world, particularly through his teaching. He was the founder of his independent architectural and urban design practice, Michael Sorkin Studio, as well as of Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, a non-profit urban research studio and advocacy group founded in 2005. He founded Terreform to investigate the forms, policies, technologies, and practices that will yield equitable, sustainable, and beautiful cities for the urbanizing planet.

He also wrote and edited a total of 20 books, with the most recent including ‘All Over the Map: Writing on Buildings and Cities’ and Twenty Minutes in Manhattan. Sorkin’s Variations on a Theme Park, a collection of contributed essays published in 1992 that highlights the changing nature of American urbanism, continues to be a touchstone of contemporary architectural theory and discourse read by architecture students across the globe. His writings in the Village Voice, the Nation, and many other publications were highly appreciated.

A few of his noted projects include that of  A New Capital City (Xiongam), China;  Fengxi New City Baima River Urban Design, China; Davo Chapel, Philippines; Barack Obama Community Library, Chicago; A New Town for Istanbul, Turkey; Home for All, Japan; Coorg Houses , Coorg – India; etc.

Michael Sorkin was the recipient of several fellowships and awards. His recent awards include Collaborative Achievement Award – 2019; Fellow in the field of architecture planning and design from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 2015; “Design Mind” from the National Design Award in 2013, etc.

May His Soul Rest in Peace.

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