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All Over the Map: Writing on Buildings and Cities

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  8 reviews
All Over the Map is an urgent response to the radical changes in contemporary architecture and the built environment witnessed in the twenty-first century. Characteristically polemic, incisive and energetic, these essays explore pressing questions of architectural and urban design, and critical issues of public space and participation. From New York to New Orleans, the Ama ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 25th 2011 by Verso
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3.74  · 
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 ·  47 ratings  ·  8 reviews

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A wonderfully thought-provoking collection of essays. Sorkin weaves philosophy, social theory, and environmental science (among other disciplines) with architecture in order to discuss the moral, political, and practical concerns of making buildings and designing cities. Most of the essays first appeared in architectural journals, so I was unfamiliar with many of the names and concepts that Sorkin seems to assume his reader will recognize; however, I learned much by looking up those things and w ...more
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
a decade's worth of essays on architecture, largely focused on new york and the aftermath of 9/11. at times, sorkin sounds like a disappointed, petulant child for being on the sidelines of the rebuilding plans on the site of ground zero, but largely, he is a well-considered, erudite critic of not only the current state of architecture and urban planning, but historically informed as well. i'd have given it a 4, but i'm a little shocked by the amount of typos Verso allowed to slip into this book, ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
I admire Michael Sorkin as an important and clever voice in architectural criticism. However, this book reads in much the same way as he speaks; wildly discursive with references so recondite as to be lost on most readers, if not otherwise unintelligible. Is it a fad to be so heavily stylized in contemporary architectural criticism? It seems to me that the substance of many essays was insufficient, or occasionally eclipsed by poor writing. I wish this were not the case because I believe that Sor ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it
If I could I'd give this a solid 3.5. His set of essays on architecture & planning are articulate and opinionated. There are number of essays on the Ground Zero 9/11 memorial project, which provide insight into the role of architecture as public discourse, but also into how politics and atmospherics shape the public space. Interesting if you like architecture and public policy.
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: urbanism
A collection of essays. Some good, some not so good. It's probably far more interesting if you're from NYC or actually working in the architecture field.

Sorkin's writing style got in the way of my understanding at various points. I can't explain why. Was it word choice? Sentence structure? Long paragraphs? All I know is that at times it became hard to discern his point.
Jon Beuttler
Nov 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I was surprised by the amount of essays that were about post 9/11. Sorkin is hard to follow sometimes. I enjoyed the unapolegetic essays as to why plans change.
Jul 02, 2013 added it
Shelves: 2013
Very mixed bag with unfortunate Maureen Dowd-ish stylistic elements.
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Michael Sorkin (born 1948, Washington, D.C.) is an American architectural critic and author of several hundred articles in a wide range of both professional and general publications. He is the Principal of Michael Sorkin Studio in New York City, a design practice devoted to both practical and theoretical projects at all scales, with special interest in sustainable urban environments/green city arc ...more
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