Name of AAPI FigureMaya Lin
What is the person’s Asian heritage or ethnicity?Chinese-American
Area of InfluenceArchitecture (the Arts)
Date of birth or time periodOctober 5, 1959
How did this individual make a contribution to their field or to society/culture at large?Maya Lin has influenced and changed the world of architecture in many ways. Even as a 21-year-old undergraduate student, she still won a contest with thousands of others with her design of the Vietnam Memorial and proved to the world that anyone can win. Though she was much younger and less experienced than any of the contestants in that contest, she still won with her design. She also made large other contributions by designing famous artifacts, such as Women’s Table and the Civil Rights Memorial. She has proved to so many people that anyone can win, and she has changed the world of architecture with her unique designs that have been deemed “untraditional” yet beautiful and important.
Why did you choose this person? What about their story speaks to you?When Maya Lin was submitting her Vietnam War Memorial contest entry, she didn’t state her name, age, or gender, instead registering as anonymous. Her story tells people that anyone, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, can do anything well as long as they try hard and do their best. It’s so inspirational to me that someone at a young age can do so much. Something I wonder is that if she had put her age and gender there, would they have given her design the same attention?
Submitted byAllison Liu
City, StateLexington, Massachusetts