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180 Varick Street, Suite 1220
New York, NY, 10014

212 627 9120

Urban Research (UR) 
180 Varick Street
Suite 1514
New York NY 10014

T 212.627.9121




180 Varick Street
Suite 1514
New York, NY 10014
T: 212.627.9121




Michael Sorkin, President, is an architect and urbanist whose practice spans design, criticism, and pedagogy. Since 2000, Sorkin has been Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at City College of New York. He is the architecture critic for The Nation, contributing editor at Architectural Record, and author or editor of twenty books. Sorkin is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the recipient of the 2013 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Mind Award, and is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. He is also Principal of Michael Sorkin Studio, an international design practice that works in close collaboration with Terreform.  

Vyjayanthi V. Rao, Director of Terreform, is an anthropologist by training.  Prior to Terreform, she 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 Co-Director of Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research (PUKAR), an innovative urban laboratory in Mumbai. Currently, she focuses on cities after globalization, specifically the intersections of urban planning, design, art, violence, and speculation. She is the author of numerous articles on these topics in noted journals, the co-editor of Speculation, Now: Essays and Artwork (Duke University Press, 2015), and is completing a manuscript on the spatial transformation of Mumbai.

Maria Cecilia Fagel, Executive Editor, is an architecture/urban researcher, critic and writer. She has a BArch from the University of San Carlos — Technological Center, Cebu, a BBA in Design Management from Parsons, The New School for Design, and an MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts. Prior to joining Terreform, she was a market research analyst for a New York City-based Advisor to Dentsu Japan. Her work has been published in Architect’s Newspaper and by the Cooper-Hewitt’s DesignFile.


Isaac Gertman, Design Director, is a graphic designer and educator with a keen interest in the overlapping social, cultural, and infrastructural systems found in cities. In addition to his role at Terreform, he leads design direction at The Independent Group, and is a member of the full-faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art. He previously taught at Parsons, The New School for Design; City College, in the Graduate Department of Landscape Architecture; and Rhode Island School of Design. In 2014, he was named a Public Access Design Fellow by the Center for Urban Pedagogy and was Design Fellow of the Wassaic Project (2013–2014). His work has been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Society of Publication Designers, and has been featured in numerous books and blogs. His writing has appeared in Print magazine, Step magazine, Design Bureau, and the design blog SpeakUp. Isaac received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.


Nikhil Sambamurthy, Communications Director, is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, with a Bachelor of Architecture and Minor in Drama. Originally from Chennai, he grew up in Singapore and Geneva before moving to Pittsburgh for architecture school. His undergraduate thesis project Home: Territorialising Plural Identities, investigated the relationship between Architecture and Cultural Identity, and he likes to use storytelling as a way to understand the world around him.


Nic Cavell, Editor, is translating and editing the forthcoming UR book, Letters to the Leaders of China: Kongjian Yu and the Future of the Chinese City, working on our Open Gaza project, and contributing as a member of the Steady State team. He is a graduate of Brown University.