Sorkin Reading Room
The Spitzer School opened the Sorkin Reading Room, dedicated to its namesake, Michael Sorkin, the late distinguished professor of architecture, on December 1, 2023. The generously donated collection of close to 4,000 items includes syllabi, various published writings, lectures, books, studio information, journals, catalogues, numerous bound files from select architects, and many other items.
An author, activist, architecture critic, urbanist, and the head of Michael Sorkin Studios and Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, Sorkin joined the Spitzer School of Architecture as a professor of architecture and director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design in 2000. He founded the annual Mumford Lectures, which boasts stellar speakers on urbanism. In 2008, he was made a distinguished professor. Sorkin died of Coronavirus in March 2020.
Located close to St. Nicholas Park, the space is light-filled with a long seminar table to engender conversation and debate. Lining shelves he designed for his office, Sorkin’s books are organized according to his personal system, introducing readers to his way of thinking about urbanism, architecture, and cities.
“Michael Sorkin was a creatively provocative and animating force in architecture and at CCNY’s Spitzer School. A reading room to carry forth the spirit of intellectual excitement that he embodied is an absolutely appropriate tribute to his legacy at our college,” said CCNY President Vincent Boudreau.
“The reading room will be used by researchers interested in Michael Sorkin’s criticism, pedagogy, and design practice,” said Joan Copjec, Sorkin’s wife and main proponent of the project. “The room itself, designed by Michael’s colleague Professor Elisabetta Terragni, is beautiful and calm.”