IAAC OPEN DOORS -MAA Lecture Michael Sorkin

Michael Sorkin visited Barcelona last week while he was invited for a lecture at IAAC and as a jury at WAF 2011 . Sorkins  lecture at IAAC was part of the añual IAAC Open Doors Event, a special day of the year were the public has the opportunity to meet the institute.

During his lecture Michael Sorkin presented to the audience the work that is being developed at his office while he communicates to the audience his special interest towards green architecture in different scales. An interest that is visible in both practical and theoritical approaches.

Michael Sorkin is the principal of the Michael Sorkin Studio in New York City, a design practice devoted to both practical and theoretical projects at all scales with a special interest in the city and in green architecture. Recent projects include planning and design for a highly sustainable city of 300,000 near Wuhan, China, a 50 kilometer long redevelopment of the Weihe River in Xi’an, a 5000-unit community in Penang, Malaysia, master planning for the Zha Bei district in Shanghai, the design of a town of 40,000 on the Black Sea in Turkey, a hotel in Tianjin, China, planning for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, campus planning at the University of Chicago and Hebei University, studies of the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts, housing design in Far Rockaway, Vienna, and Miami, a park in Queens, New York, a group of houses in Coorg, India, and a very low-cost housing prototype for rural Alabama. The Sorkin Studio has been the recipient of numerous awards from, among others, Progressive Architecture, ID, and the AIA. Sorkin is also founding President of Terreform, a non-profit organization dedicated to research and intervention in issues of urban morphology, sustainability, equity, and community planning. Current research includes a multi-year project to examine the limits of self-sufficiency within New York City, a study of sustainable transport systems in Lower Manhattan, and an alternative master plan for Manhattanville. Terreform has also completed proposals for New Orleans, Gaza, Newark, and the Lower East Side, among others. In addition, Sorkin is President of the Institute for Urban Design, New York-based educational and advocacy organization.

Michael Sorkin is Distinguished Professor of Architecture and the Director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at the City College of New York where he has taught since 2000. From 1993 to 2000 he was Professor of Urbanism and Director of the Institute of Urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Previously, Sorkin 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) Wuhan (China), and Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 2005 -2006, he directed studio projects for the post-Katrina reconstruction of Biloxi and New Orleans at both CCNY and the University of Michigan.

Sorkin lectures around the world, is the author of several hundred articles in a wide range of both professional and general publications, and is currently contributing editor at Architectural Record for which he writes a regular column. For ten years, he was the architecture critic of The Village Voice. His books include 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, Indefensible Space, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan. Forthcoming are Eutopia, All Over the Map, New Orleans Under Reconstruction, and New York City (Steady) State.

Michael Sorkin was born in Washington, D.C. and received his architectural training at Harvard and MIT. He also holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Columbia.

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