In New York, complications caused by covid-19 claimed the 71-year-old life of Michael Sorkin, an architect and educator whose polemic voice laid bare the contradictions of contemporary urbanism. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1970, Sorkin completed a master of architecture program at MIT and also obtained a master’s degree in English from Columbia before embarking on a prolific career as an urbanist and critic. As an urban planner he tackled city design from environmental parameters through his own practice, Michael Sorkin Studio. But it was in criticism that his voice rang loudest, as much through counterculture media like The Village Voice and specialized journals like The Architectural Review as through mainstream press like The New York Times and Vanity Fair. From these platforms he held court as a brilliant, sharp, irreverent writer, speaking out for the environment, pedestrianization, public space, and the bond between urban culture and democracy in articles which were later compiled in books. Sorkin combined his critical and professional work with teaching in several American universities.