Michael Sorkin is an award-winning architect and Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of New York. His books include The Next Jerusalem, After the World Trade Center, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan and All Over the Map. He is a frequent contributor to many publications, including The Nation.
Ken Smith, founder and principal of Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in landscape architecture and planning. Some of the firm’s most high profile projects include Orange County Great Park, East River Waterfront Esplanade, Santa Fe Railyard Park and Plaza, MOMA Roof Garden, Pier 36 – New York City, 55 Water Street, Anaheim (CA) Packing House District, and numerous others. Smith was a member of the THINK Team in the World Trade Center competition in 2002, which won the committee’s support as winner, but was overruled by Governor Pataki. Among his overseas projects, Ken Smith was responsible for the landscape component of the World One project, Mumbai, India.
Ken Smith received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Iowa State University and Masters from Harvard’s GSD.
Just out of college, and encouraged after receiving an honorable mention for his entry in the Niagara Falls Rainbow Plaza Gardens competition in 1972, Steven Holl's career has been notable for his continued successes as a competitor. After post-graduate studies at the Architecture Association in London, Holl established his own firm in New York City in 1976. Outside of his practice, he taught at Syracuse University, then at Columbia University, where he has been as a tenured faculty member since 1981.
He gained national attention with his Hybrid Building at Seaside, Florida in 1988, and subsequently was an invited finalist and winner in the Berlin Memorial Library competition the following year. In 1992 his winning entry for the Helsinki (Kiasma) Museum of Contemporary Art—which was built!—gained international acclaim. Since then, he has received commissions for numerous projects in the U.S. and abroad, including additions to the Cranbrook Academy, Pratt Institute and the Chapel of St. Ignatius in Seattle. Most recently, he has won an invited competition for the recently completed Glasgow's School of Art and the Extension to the Mumbai Art Museum. The latter museum is a good example of his theoretical approach to design—adding by subtracting. Here we typically find spaces created by carved segments, prividing the building with an architectural expression all its own.
Any architect, wondering how winning a competition can lead to a career as one of the profession's most recognized stars, need only look back to the Berlin's Jewish Museum competition. In that open, anonymous competition, Daniel Libeskind's entry, 'Between the Lines,' won out over 164 competitors from around the world. This was followed by a winning design for the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England—a project which was ultimately realized. His winning design in an invited competition for an addition to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London was much discussed in the world of architecture and beyond. In the aftermath of those successes, he has been successful in the U.S. as well as in Germany, having been commissioned to design the Jewish Museum in San Francisco, a high-rise condominium in Covington, Kentucky, and the Frederic C. Hamilton building, an extension of the Denver Art Museum (DAM). But a competition which received world-wide attention was the Ground Zero planning competition, where the 9/11 Memorial is now located. Although chosen as the preferred design, the ensuing tug-of-war between government entities and developers led to major changes in the site plan. The only realized remnant from the Libeskind plan was a suggestion that a 1776-foot tower be built on the site—in the end designed by SOM.