Michael Sorkin

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Michael Sorkin
Michael Sorkin.jpg
Born 1948
Hollin Hills, VA
Nationality American
Occupation Architect
Awards Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2009)(2010)
American Academy of Arts and Letters - 2010 Architecture Awards - Winner
Graham Foundation for the Visual Arts (2010).
Practice Michael Sorkin Studio

Michael Sorkin (born 1948, Hollin Hills, VA) is an American architectural critic and author of several hundred articles in a wide range of both professional and general publications.[1] He is also Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York, part of the City University of New York (CUNY).[2] He is the Principal of Michael Sorkin Studio in New York City, a design practice devoted to both practical and theoretical projects at all scales, with special interest in sustainable urban environments/green city architecture. He is also Chair of the Institute for Urban Design, a non-profit organization that provides a forum for debate over critical issues in contemporary urban planning, development, and design.[3]


From 1993 to 2000 he was Professor of Urbanism and Director of the Institute of Urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. He has been professor at numerous schools of architecture including the Architectural Association, the Aarhus School of Architecture, Cooper Union (for ten years), Carleton, Columbia, Yale (holding both Davenport and Bishop Chairs), Harvard, Cornell (Gensler Chair), Nebraska (Hyde Chair), Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan (Saarinen Chair) and Minnesota (Gilbert Chair). Dedicated to urbanism as both an artistic practice and a medium for social amelioration, Sorkin has conducted studios in such stressed environments as Jerusalem, Nicosia, Johannesburg, Havana, Cairo, Kumasi, Hanoi, Nueva Loja (Ecuador) and Wuhan (China). In 2005 -2006, he directed studio projects for the post-Katrina reconstruction of Biloxi and New Orleans[4] at both CCNY and the University of Michigan.


Sorkin lectures widely and is a contributing editor at Architectural Record for which he writes a regular column.[5] For ten years, he was the architecture critic of The Village Voice. His books include Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, Indefensible Space, Starting From Zero,Variations on A Theme Park, Exquisite Corpse, Local Code, Giving Ground (edited with Joan Copjec), Wiggle (a monograph of the studio's work), Some Assembly Required, Other Plans, The Next Jerusalem, After The Trade Center (edited with Sharon Zukin), Starting From Zero, Analyzing Ambasz, Against the Wall and Indefensible Space, All Over the Map.[6] Forthcoming are, Eutopia, New Orleans Under Reconstruction, New York City (Steady) State and Mass Movement.

Other Activities[edit]

He also serves as an international consultant on urban and architectural design and participates in numerous juries, seminars, and symposia. Most recently, this activity has included chairing a jury to choose two very large urban planning and architectural projects for the Municipality of Istanbul, a similar jury in Almaty, Kazakhstan, a jury to choose a design for the headquarters of Genzyme, a campus planning consultancy to the University of Cincinnati, expert assessment for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, as well as juries for design magazines, architectural schools, and professional organizations. Sorkin was founding co-chair of the Chrysler Design Award and currently serves as a member of the boards of directors or advisors of a number of civic and academic bodies, including the Architectural League (Vice President for Urban Design), Archeworks, the London Consortium, and several institutes at CUNY.

List of published works[edit]

Primary works[edit]

  • Sorkin, Michael (1981). Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer (Monographs on contemporary architecture) (hardcover). Whitney Library of Design. p. 120. ISBN 0-8230-7264-9. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (1991). Exquisite Corpse: Writing on Buildings (hardcover). Verso. p. 365. ISBN 0-86091-323-6. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (1996). Local Code: The Constitution of a City at 42 degrees North Latitude (paperback). Princeton Architectural Press. p. 128. ISBN 1-878271-79-2. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (1998). Michael Sorkin Studio: Wiggle (paperback). Springer. p. 192. ISBN 3-211-83161-4. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (2001). Some Assembly Required (hardcover). University of Minnesota Press. p. 264. ISBN 0-8166-3482-3. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (2002). Pamphlet Architecture 22: Other Plans: University of Chicago Studies, 1998-2000 (paperback). Princeton Architectural Press. p. 80. ISBN 1-56898-309-3. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (2003). Starting From Zero: Reconstructing Downtown New York (hardcover). Routledge. p. 144. ISBN 0-415-94734-0. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (2009). Twenty Minutes in Manhattan (hardcover). Reaktion Books. p. 272. ISBN 1-86189-428-7. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (2011). All Over the Map: Writing on Buildings and Cities (hardcover). Verso. p. 320. ISBN 1-84467-323-5. 

Secondary works[edit]

  • Sorkin, Michael, ed. (1992). Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space (hardcover). Hill & Wang. p. 252. ISBN 0-8090-9607-2. 
  • Sorkin, Michael, ed. (2002). The Next Jerusalem (hardcover). Monacelli. p. 432. ISBN 1-58093-100-6. 
  • Sorkin, Michael; Zukin, Sharon, eds. (2002). After the World Trade Center: Rethinking New York City (hardcover). Routledge. p. 240. ISBN 0-415-93479-6. 
  • Sorkin, Michael, ed. (2004). Analyzing Ambasz (paperback) (illustrated ed.). Monacelli. p. 216. ISBN 1-58093-135-9. 
  • Sorkin, Michael (2004). Sirefman, Susanna, ed. Whereabouts: New Architecture with Local Identities (paperback). Monacelli. p. 192. ISBN 1-58093-120-0. 
  • Sorkin, Michael, ed. (2005). Against the Wall: Israel's Barrier to Peace (hardcover). New Press. p. 273. ISBN 1-56584-990-6. 
  • Sorkin, Michael, ed. (2007). Indefensible Space: The Architecture of the National Insecurity State (hardcover). Routledge. p. 208. ISBN 0-415-95367-7. 

Contributory works[edit]

  • Krauss, Rosalind; Brown, Patricia Leigh; Koll, Steven; Sorkin, Michael; Tilly, Stephen (2001). Alan Buchsbaum: Architect and Designer - The Mechanics of Taste (hardcover) (illustrated ed.). The Monacelli Press. p. 224. ISBN 1-885254-39-3. 
  • Copjec, Joan (1999). Sorkin, Michael, ed. Giving Ground: The Politics of Propinquity (hardcover). Verso. p. 312. ISBN 1-85984-892-3. 
  • Freidman, Mildred; Sorkin, Michael (1999). Gehry Talks: Architecture and Process (hardcover). Rizzoli. p. 300. ISBN 0-8478-2165-X. 
  • Sorkin, Michael; Altwicker, Matthias; Schneider, Gregor; Pardo, Jorge; Ackerman, Franz; Land, Peter; Rehberger, Tobias; Zittel, Andrea (2001). Comfort (hardcover). Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art. p. 80. ISBN 1-880353-18-0. 
  • Lewallen, Constance M; Seid, Steve; Sorkin, Michael; Maniaque, Caroline; Lord, Chip (2004). Ant Farm 1968-1978 (hardcover). University of California Press. p. 201. ISBN 0-520-24029-4. 
  • Boeri, Stefano; Aksamija, Azra; Bitter, Sabine; Cho, Minsuk; Herron, Jerry; Snyder, Sean; Sorkin, Michael; Weissman, Eval; Gutierrez, Laurent; Portefaix, Valerie (2004). Urban Ecology (paperback). Map Book Publishers. p. 192. ISBN 962-86040-4-X. 
  • Attali, Jean; Hofland, H. J. A.; Jameson, Frederic; Neymeyer, Fritz; Sorkin, Michael; Sterling, Bruce; Verschaffel, Bart; Whiting, Sarah; Leach, Neil; Vidler, Anthony (2004). What Is Oma: Considering Rem Koolhaas And The Office For Metropolitan Architecture (paperback). NAi Publishers. p. 168. ISBN 90-5662-349-4. 
  • Sorkin, Michael; Warchol, Paul; Ranalli, George (2009). George Ranalli: Saratoga (Single Building) (hardcover). ORO Editions. p. 112. ISBN 0-9814628-8-X. 
  • Sorkin, Michael; Chambers, Kristen; Duran, Ana Maria; Leven, David; Stein, Achva; Paladines, Osvaldo (2010). Beyond Petropolis: Designing a Practical Utopia in Nueva Loja (paperback). Loft Publications. p. 368. ISBN 84-9936-194-3. 



  1. ^ [1], Artforum article.
  2. ^ "CCNY Distinguished Professor Michael Sorkin Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences". CUNY Newswire. City University of New York. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "About us". Institute for Urban Design. 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  4. ^ [2], Project New Orleans
  5. ^ [3], Architectural Record article.
  6. ^ [4], Designers & Books.

External links[edit]