Maya Lin: Balancing Art and Architecture

23 OCT 2014 New York

Maya Lin, the architect behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, discusses environmental sustainability and the intersection of art and architecture.

On the evolution of her creativity: “I don't see two sides. I see the line between two things, which probably comes from my East-West heritage. I grew up in Ohio, but my parents were from China. I was probably meant to be a scientist or a mathematician, but I also liked playing in my father’s ceramic studio, so I ended up with this ambidextrous creativity.”

On bridging the gap between art and architecture: “They are really different impulses. Each taps into very different ways we think and create. I love the differences. I think it's a little unusual, to be able to go between both. Architecture is like writing a novel. Art is like writing a poem.”

On using art to build awareness: “A lot of times in my art I'm just trying to get you to be aware of what you may or may not think you already know. And art, at times, can reveal aspects of the natural world that you may not be thinking about. As an artist I can point out things in a different light.”

Explore More Insights