9781844673230-all-over-the-map-max_221

All Over the Map: Writing on Buildings and Cities

The celebrated radical architect returns with an anthology on the politics and culture of architecture.
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 Amazon to Jerusalem, Sorkin brings a critical eye to bear on a sweeping range of subjects.

Whether castigating the sorry performance of the architectural avant-garde, considering the nature of place in globalized culture, or providing mock instructions for entering a high-security environment, these writings make a powerful and provocative case for architecture and urban design to re-engage with the lives and societies from which they have become increasingly detached.

Reviews

  • “Sorkin is one of the most intelligent writers on architecture today.”
  • “Sorkin is a formidable opponent of the banal, the ugly, the stupid and the vapidly posturing which, he argues, are all around us.”
  • “Easily one of the best architecture critics around ... Sorkin is a flâneur with a sense of public purpose.”

Blog

  • Reimagining Architecture and Cities: A Reading List

    As the housing crisis worsens, and the inequalities of the city become more pronounced, a radical architectural response becomes vital and necessary.

    In Last Futures: Nature, Technology, and the End of Architecture, Douglas Murphy maps the designs, dreams, and failures of architects, philosophers and planners from the 1960’s to the present day; introducing a world of apocalyptic industrialists, radical hippies, cybernetic planners and visionary architects, and exploring not just what to build, but how.

    Inspired by this, we present a reading list of books that propose new ways to reimagine the city, and underline the need for progressive architectural alternatives. 


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  • How Gentrifiers Gentrify: a review of Sylvie Tissot's 'Good Neighbors'




    Writing for 
    Public Books, Max Holleran review Sylvie Tissot's Good Neighbors: Gentrifyinf Diversity in Boston's South End. Praising the books combination of political and cultural investigation, Holleran describes Tissot's powerful analysis of how wealthier 'newcomers' create strong communities of their own - and, in so doing, force out those who once called the neighborhood home.



    October 1, 2015
     — This past spring a new French restaurant opened in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Located on Malcolm X Boulevard, directly across the street from a Crown Fried Chicken, the restaurant—with a menu that includes frog legs and a bottle of Bordeaux that sells for $2,000—is an incongruous new addition to an area of Brooklyn where the median household income is below $35,000. It is named L’Antagoniste, ostensibly for its celebration of the contrarian French personalities pictured on its walls, but neighbors might interpret the name differently.

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  • All Over the Map makes Artforum's "Best of 2011" list

    As chosen by Anthony Vidler, a Professor of Architecture and the Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, Cooper Union, New York

    A witty, incisive, critical, and brilliantly written invitation to see contemporary architecture and urbanism as a complex result of economic, political, and ideological forces that are hardly masked by the formal expressions of architects. This is criticism as we rarely read it, of the sort that Jane Jacobs and Lewis Mumford provided in an earlier era. These essays demonstrate that Sorkin goes well beyond his own advice, and that he adds something else for good measure: a deep and broad knowledge of architecture and cities, a love of both, and a profound belief in the role of architecture in constructing a just city.

Other books by Michael Sorkin