For the Guardian, Chris Hall reviews All Over the Map: Writing on Buildings and Cities by Michael Sorkin, "a flâneur with a sense of public purpose." The incisive critique of contemporary architecture by "America's most outspoken architect ... doesn't pull punches."
Hall points out how Sorkin questions the triumphal nature of the planned Ground Zero memorial in New York. Instead, Sorkin calls for "open, public space that encourages 'peaceable assembly'":
He is undistracted by the false debate about which was the best design in the Ground Zero competition, questioning the very idea that there must be buildings to replace those lost and looking at the wider context of the ecology of Lower Manhattan and beyond.
Michael Sorkin's All Over the Map: Writing on Buildings and Cities, just published in hardback by Verso, has been garnering its fair share of praise on both sides of the Atlantic from popular media and urban design publications alike. The Guardian's architecture critic Rowan Moore has described Sorkin as "an enraged but forever hopeful liberal" wandering the streets of his dear lower Manhattan with a keen eye and sharp tongue for those corporate architects—watch out Rem Koolhaas—and their fawning critics "who dress the works that crush the freedoms." If there is a narrative that runs through these essays, it is in the particulate of September 11th that still coats Sorkin's architectural psyche:
The most persistent theme is the architectural response to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, which happened in Sorkin's neighbourhood, early in the time span of All Over the Map. He combines his usual astute analysis of the politics with his own ideas of what might be built there—"A World Peace Dome" for example.