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Michael Sorkin was widely recognized as a polemical, incisive thinker and practitioner, whose approach to both architecture and its pedagogy was provocative and uncompromising. As principal of global design practice Michael Sorkin Studio, he was a champion of subverting traditional values in architecture, and deeply committed to creating socially just, environmentally sustainable solutions for the urban landscape that effectively serve the communities they are designed to house. In 2005, he founded urban research nonprofit Terreform to advance green design and building technology.

Sorkin taught, lectured, and was a guest critic at SCI-Arc (1988-90; 2014). In the words of SCI-Arc Director Hernán Díaz Alonso: “Michael was a fighter for all the noblest causes in architecture—he swam against the flow. He was a citizen in every dimension of the word; a writer; and above everything else a teacher. His is a gigantic loss for architecture and education—his voice cannot be replaced.”