World Famous Architect Michael Sorkin Dies at 78

The world of architecture lost one of its greats due to the coronavirus outbreak. New York architect Michael Sorkin died of COVID-19 on March 26, 2020 at 78 years old. Sorkin was an award-winning architect, writer and educator. Most recently, he won the 2019 American Institute of Architecture Collaborative Achievement Award.

Up until his death, he was working at Michael Sorkin Studios and teaching in the graduate program at City College of New York.

Sorkin specialized in projects in and around cities with particular focus on sustainability, flexibility and cohesiveness with nature. He designed environmental spaces in Hamburg, Germany, New York, numerous cities in China, and tens of other cities around the world.

His work can be described as innovative, creative, bold and modern.

Sorkin ran Michael Sorkin Studios in the Big Apple and operated satellite offices in Shanghai and Xi’an, China.

“We work towards innovative solutions that respect the natural environment, local cultures and economic realities and collaborate with our clients to produce designs that are both sustainable and beautiful,” reads his website. “[We’re] devoted to both practical and theoretical projects at all scales.”

He was also president of Terreform, a nonprofit “urban research studio and advocacy group.” On the group’s website, they say their mission is to “investigate the forms, policies, technologies and practices that will yield equitable, sustainable and beautiful cities for our urbanizing planet.”

Sorkin was also a noted critic, offering his perspectives for The Nation and The Village Voice. He also wrote more than 20 books on architecture.

Architects are mourning the difficult loss, with AIA CEO Robert Ivy stating “The world lost a brilliant consciousness when Michael Sorkin died…Sorkin’s critiques cut to the core with trenchant, linguistic finesse. Few in architecture matched his mind.”

To view more of Sorkin’s work, visit