Michael Sorkin, a revolutionary architect whose ideas aimed far higher than the most ambitious skyscrapers, passed away on March 29 after contracting COVID-19.

A born academic with an innate talent for art, design and engineering, he held degrees from the University of Chicago, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Over the course of his long career, Sorkin wrote 20 books and more articles that can be counted championing the roles of architects and city planners in solving many of the world’s issues, including sustainability, equality and fair housing.

He was unafraid to challenge conventional thinking, releasing a plan of a New York City he envisioned covered in greenery and vegetable gardens, and was a committed voice for social change.

Sorkin made his calls from the many academic and journalistic positions he held over the decades since his move to New York in 1973, including as head of City College of New York’s urban-design program.

He also ran his firm, the Michael Sorkin Studio, and an urban research institute, Terreform.

He is survived by his wife, film theorist Joan Copjec.

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