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



Terreform is a collaborative group of designers, social scientists, and urban researchers with experience in academia, private practice, public interest organizations, government and community activism. 

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, PhD, Co-director, is an anthropologist by training. Prior to joining Terreform, she held research and teaching positions at The New School for Social Research and at 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, Yale University, and as the Co-Director of Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research (PUKAR), an innovative urban laboratory in Mumbai, India. Her current work focuses on cities after globalization, specifically on intersections of urban planning, design, art, violence, and speculation. She authored many 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.

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Deen Sharp, PhD, Co-director, is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2018-2019). He is the co-editor of Beyond the Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings (Urban Research, 2016). His doctoral dissertation entitled, "Corporate Urbanization: Between the future and survival in Lebanon" focuses on the corporation and urban development in the Eastern Mediterranean. His work has been featured in a number of publications, including, JadaliyyaPortal 9Arab Studies Journal and the Guardian. Previously, he was a freelance journalist and consultant based in Lebanon and has worked for several UN agencies, including UNDP and UN-Habitat, governments and international NGOs.

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 a MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts. Prior to Terreform, she was a market research analyst for the New York City-based Advisor to Dentsu Japan. Her work was published in Architect’s Newspaper, Verlag form GmbH & Co. KG, and by Cooper-Hewitt’s DesignFile.


Andrea Johnson, Research Director, coordinates numerous publications and collaborates on design research projects. Andrea has worked with Diana Wiesner Architecture and Landscape, the Bogotá Mountain Foundation, and Urban Think Tank. She is a graduate of the Master of Landscape Architecture program at The City College of New York where she has also taught Digital Representation. In 2015, she was named a National Olmsted Scholar Finalist. Prior to her landscape studies, Andrea provided immigration legal services in NYC and assisted women to start small businesses in Puerto Rico.

Isaac Gertman, Design Director, is a graphic designer and educator. He leads design direction at The Independent Group, and is a member of the full-faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). 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 MICA.


DeNeile Cooper, Principal Researcher, is an anthropologist and spatial analyst with a BA in Anthropology and certificate in Environmental Studies from Wesleyan University, Connecticut. There, she specialized in sustainable food waste management and wrote her senior essay as a socio-historical analysis of waste in the US. Before joining Terreform, she researched geospatial trends for three international archaeological projects and presented "GIS Applications in Numismatics" at ESRI's Developers Summit Berlin 2018. She is currently contributing research to New York City (Steady) State: Waste Not. 


Hilary Huckins-Weidner, Associate Editor and Programs Coordinator, contributes communications, public programming, and fundraising support to Terreform. She is also editing the forthcoming UR book, Gregory Ain: Low-Cost Modern Housing and the Construction of a Social Landscape. Her personal work—be it writing, editing, art, or curating—explores the roles of gender and art in built environments and contemporary media. She is a graduate of The California Institute of the Arts. 

Filippa Dahlin, Principal Researcher, has a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and a Master of Urban Design from City College of New York. She previously worked for Kragh & Berlund, a landscape architecture/urban planning firm based in Copenhagen. In addition, she worked for a municipality of Burloev in Sweden. Her personal interests range from dynamic vegetation design, soundscapes and sound installations. At Terreform, she is contributing to New York City (Steady) State, Home Grown.

Damiano Cerrone, Principal Researcher, is a spatial planner and analyst with a BA in Urban Planning and Geographic Information Systems from La Sapienza University, Rome. He also holds a MSc in Urban Studies from the Estonian Academy of Arts, and currently is in its doctorate track in architecture and planning. In 2013, he co-founded SPIN Unit, a transnational urban planning research group. Damiano is a member of ESRI’s Young Professional Network and received the 2015 ESRI Young Scholar of the Year award. At Terreform, Damiano is working on the spatial visualization and analysis of the Gaza site for forthcoming UR book, Open Gaza.

Vineet Diwadkar, Principal Researcher, is a designer and urban planner. He is co-author of the forthcoming UR book, 50 Ways to Game a City: Loophole Planning in Contemporary Mumbai. He is also co-editor of "Planning for Conservation”, and led research and production teams for Harvard’s three-year project Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megaci. Also at Harvard, he was a research associate with the Urban South Asia Project and Urban Theory Lab, and a community-based planner and faculty member at the National Institute of Design. Vineet received a MA in Urban Planning and in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BArch from Georgia Tech. 

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Luoyi Yin, Director (China Studio), is an architect, urban designer, and a current PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge. Luoyi has over ten years of professional experience in architectural and urban design. He previously received a Master of Architecture Design from Columbia University (2008), and a Bachelor of Architecture Design from Tianjin University (2007). His current research focuses on urban regenerative design and sustainable urban form. 



Terreform works also closely with Michael Sorkin Studio whose members donate their time and skills to its projects. 

Makoto Okazaki is Partner and Principal Architect at Michael Sorkin Studio. Born and raised in Kobe, Japan, he has twenty-five years of experience in architecture, urban design, and construction management, with an architectural license approved by the Japanese Ministry of Construction (1995). He also holds a Masters in Urban Planning degree from the City College of New York. Makoto is devoted to both practical and theoretical projects at all scales, with a special interest in the city and green architecture. 

Jie Gu is an urban designer at Michael Sorkin Studio. He has over ten years of working experience in architecture and urban design. Previously, he was middle senior architect at AECOM and the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design. Jie holds a Master of Urban Design degree from The City College of New York and a Masters degree in Urban Environmental Design from Beijing University. 


Chen Shen is an architectural designer at Michael Sorkin Studio and has a MSAAD degree (Master of Science in Advanced Architecture Design) from Cornell University and a BArch degree from Southeast University, China. He previously worked for Christian Kerez Studio in Berlin and Urban Architectural Lab in China. Chen has a special interest in architectural representation and translating ecological nature into architectural space.

Ying Liu is an architectural designer at Michael Sorkin Studio and a LEED Green Associate. Originally from Liaoning, China, she holds a BArch degree from Tianjian University and an MArch from University of Southern California. Her graduate research work was included in the article, “Termite Urbanism,” published by AD (Architecture Design). 




Oliver Wright is an environmental consultant specializing in waste management and reduction. He has over a decade of experience in supporting organizations and communities to improve their sustainability through engagement and analysis. Oliver holds Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Durham University and Environmental Engineering from the University of Manchester, both in the UK. He is currently contributing research to New York City (Steady) State: Waste Not.

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Sarah Abdallah is a recent graduate of Eugene Lang the New School for Liberal Arts BA Economics program. Her work focuses on international institutions and the role they play in developing economies. She is at Terreform based on her extended interest in urban and environmental studies. She is providing editorial and research support to Open Gaza and Urban Research.

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Vaishnavi Reddy is an M.Arch graduate from Parsons School of Design. She has a B.Arch degree from Hyderabad, India and has practiced as an Architect in Hyderabad and Bangalore, India. She is interested in Social Architecture and Urban Design and Public Space Design. At Terreform, she is contributing design and research for NYC (Steady) State: Waste Not.


Corinne Butta, is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's BA Visual and Critical Studies program. Her written and editorial work focuses on the intersection of socially engaged art and public space. She is contributing to the forthcoming UR book South Side Stories and providing editorial support to Open Gaza

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Neta Nakash is entering her final year in the Master of Architecture I program at UCLA, with a focus on disaster relief and community-based design. At UCLA she has worked with other students to form Talk/Act, a student group dedicated to providing space for conversations on the intersections between architecture and politics. Prior to attending UCLA Neta received a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies and Mathematics from Connecticut College where she also minored in Studio Art with a concentration in ceramics. At Terreform she is contributing research and visuals to Syria Unsettled.


Sofia Butnaru is a student at the University of Chicago majoring in Sociology and minoring in Architectural Studies. Her work focuses on how political ideologies and collective consciousness are manifested in the built environment. She is currently writing her thesis on the spatial transformation of Caracas, Venezuela during Hugo Chavez’s Presidency. She also studies informality in Latin American Cities and Latin American architecture. At Terreform, Sofia is working on South Side Stories and an independent project studying the architecture of the Bolivarian Revolution. []



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