Maya Lin

Maya Lin

American architect, sculptor and landscape designer.
Date of Birth: 09.10.1959
Country: USA

  1. Maya Lin: American Architect, Sculptor, and Landscape Designer
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  4. Later Career and Personal Life

Maya Lin: American Architect, Sculptor, and Landscape Designer

Maya Lin is an American architect, sculptor, and specialist in landscape design. She is best known as the developer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial project in Washington, D.C. Lin was born in Athens, Ohio, and her parents immigrated to the United States from China in 1949. Her father, Henry Huan Lin, was a potter and former dean of the Ohio University College of Fine Arts. It is also known that Lin is the niece of Lin Huiyin, the first Chinese female architect.

Maya Lin

Early Life and Education

Lin was the youngest child in her family and had few friends, so she spent much of her childhood at home. She loved school and enjoyed learning, often taking additional courses at Ohio University and working with bronze at the school's foundry. Surprisingly, Lin did not fully realize her Chinese roots until her adulthood, as she did not perceive herself as Asian during her childhood. She attended Yale University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981 and a Master of Architecture degree in 1986. Lin has since received several honorary doctorates from Yale, Harvard University, Williams College, and Smith College. In 1987, she obtained her doctoral degree from Yale, becoming one of the youngest doctors in the university's history.

Maya Lin

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

In 1981, at the age of 21, Lin won a public competition for the best design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, surpassing 1441 competitors. The centerpiece of the memorial is the iconic wall, a monumental structure made of black granite with the names of over 58,000 fallen soldiers engraved on it. The wall has a V-shaped perspective, with one end pointing towards the Lincoln Memorial and the other towards the Washington Monument. Lin's intention was to create a memorial that resembled a massive wound in the earth, reflecting the weight of the country's losses in the war. The project sparked controversy, with some criticizing its atypical appearance and others questioning Lin's Asian heritage. However, Lin successfully defended her design before the commission, and time has proven her project to be highly successful. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is now considered one of the country's greatest military memorials. In 2004, Lin's story inspired the Academy Award-winning documentary film "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision."

Later Career and Personal Life

In 2002, Lin became a member of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of her alma mater. One of her works, the Women's Table, a monument commemorating women's role in Yale's history, is now displayed on the campus. In 2005, she was elected as a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters and was included in the National Women's Hall of Fame. Lin is married to Daniel Wolf, a New York-based photography dealer, and they have two daughters, India and Rachel. Currently, Lin runs her own design studio in New York City and has been involved in the development of various notable buildings and monuments.