Publication

  • UR (Urban Research) 2017
    Michael Sorkin and Maria Cecilia Fagel
    Editors
    Terreform, 2017
  • GRANTEE
    Terreform
    GRANT YEAR
    2017

Pietro Paolini, UR12 Downward Spiral: El Helicoide's Descent from Mall to Prison. El Helicoide, Caracas, Venezuela, 2012. Courtesy of Pietro Paolini/Terra Project.

Urban Research (UR) is a book series devoted to speculation about the conditions and the future of the city. We publish projects ranging from the practical to the utopian, from community-generated plans for neighborhood transformation to outstanding outcomes from academic studios, visionary speculation by designers burning the midnight oil, and collations of arguments about the most urgent issues of urban growth and survival. Our remit is to get the word out about solutions that exceed the imaginative reach of "official" planning and design and to encourage the most vigorous debate.

Michael Sorkin is editor of UR. He is an architect and urbanist whose practice spans design, criticism, and teaching. He is the principal of Michael Sorkin Studio in New York, a design practice devoted to both practical and theoretical projects at all scales, with a special interest in the city and in green architecture. In 2006, Sorkin founded Terreform, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and intervention in issues of urban morphology, sustainability, equity, and community planning. He is architecture critic for The Nation, contributing editor at Architectural Record, and author of numerous books. Sorkin is distinguished professor of architecture and, since 2000, director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at the City College of New York. Sorkin is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of the 2013 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Mind Award, and is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow.

Maria Cecilia Fagel is executive editor of UR. She holds an MFA in design criticism from the School of Visual Arts, a BBA in design management from Parsons the New School for Design and a BS in architecture from the University of San Carlos Technological Center. She is also a member of Terreform's New York City (Steady) State Project, where she works in operations, editorial, and critical research. Fagel's previous experience includes media marketing analysis, design writing, and land development research. Her writing has been published in the Architect's Newspaper, form, and Cooper‐Hewitt's DesignFile.

Isaac Gertman, creative director of UR, is a graphic designer and educator with a keen interest in the overlapping social, cultural, and infrastructural systems found in cities. He also leads design direction at the Independent Group, and teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2014, he was named a Public Access Design Fellow by the Center for Urban Pedagogy. His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Society of Publication Designers. Gertman received an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Vyjayanthi V. Rao is contributing editor of UR. She is an anthropologist by training and has held research and teaching positions at the New School for Social Research and at the University of Chicago, where she also received her doctorate. From 2002 to 2004, she served as the research director of the Initiative on Cities and Globalization at Yale University and as the codirector of Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action, and Research (PUKAR). Her current work focuses on cities after globalization, specifically on the intersections of urban planning, design, art, violence, and speculation. She is the author of numerous articles on these topics in noted journals, as well as the coeditor of Speculation, Now: Essays and Artwork (Duke University Press, 2015). She is also director of Terreform, and is currently completing a manuscript on the spatial transformation of Mumbai.

UR Advisory Board: Tom Angotti, Hunter College of CUNY; Kazi Ashraf, University of Hawaii; M. Christine Boyer, Princeton University; Teddy Cruz, Estudio Teddy Cruz; Mike Davis, UC Riverside; Ana Maria Duran Calisto, Estudio AO; Anthony Fontenot, Woodbury School of Architecture; Susanna Hecht, UCLA; John Hill, New York Institute of Technology; Walter Hood, UC Berkeley; Cindi Katz, Graduate Center CUNY; Romi Khosla, Romi Khosla Design Studio; Thom Mayne, Morphosis Architects; Suha Ozkan, World Architecture Community; Quilian Riano, DSGN AGNC; Colin Robinson, OR Books; Jonathan Solomon, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Tau Tavengwa, African Center for Cities; Srdjan Weiss, Normal Architecture Office; Eyal Weizman, Goldsmiths College; Mabel Wilson, Columbia GSAPP; and Kongjian Yu, Peking University

Terreform is an urban research studio and advocacy group founded in 2005 by Michael Sorkin. Its mission is to investigate the forms, policies, technologies, and practices that will yield equitable, sustainable, and beautiful cities for our urbanizing planet. Terreform works as a "friend of the court" dedicated to raising urban expectations and to disseminating innovative and progressive ideas as widely as possible. We undertake self-initiated investigations into both local and global issues and make research available to community and other organizations to support independent environmental and planning initiatives.