In Memoriam: Michael Sorkin

Architect, urban planner, author, and critic Michael Sorkin has died from complications related to COVID-19 at 71 years old.

Sorkin was a champion of architecture and urban design as a medium for social justice and served as the architecture critic for the Village Voice. As an author, Sorkin published books on cities and urban design and taught architecture at the Institute of Urbanism of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and The Cooper Union of New York.

In the early 1980s he founded the architecture practice Michael Sorkin Studio and the nonprofit urban research lab Terreform in 2005. Sorkin’s legacy is firmly rooted in designing sustainable cities. His ideas regarding green roofs and sustainable energy sources have become part of mainstream architecture and urban planning.

Image courtesy of Michael Sorkin Studio via Facebook

Sorkin designed environmental projects in Hamburg, Germany, and proposed master plans for the Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, and the Brooklyn waterfront and Queens Plaza in New York City.

His urban studies have been the subject of gallery exhibits, and in 2010, he received the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in architecture.

On March 26, 2020, Michael Sorkin died in Manhattan. His death was among the design profession’s most prominent losses during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.