Another field work by Lin, and her largest to date, is the 30,000 square meter “A Fold in the Field”.
The earthwork consists of 5 folds, the highest of which is approximately 11,000 meters. It was created with the animals that inhabit the land in mind so that they can interact with the folds, sheep specifically, who graze the slopes and keep the grass at the appropriate length.
The folds echo different elements of nature, such as the waves that shape the coastline and the gravitational slide of down slopes and valleys toward the sea. This is consistent with her other environmental artworks and her interest in how the landscape is experienced and related to by a person. Pictures don’t do this type of work justice, and I’d love to see this in person.
Another popular design by Lin is that of the Wave Field, located at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
The waves were installed in 1995 as a tribute to Francois-Xavier Bagnoud, and were meant to mimic the pattern of mathematical sine waves. The dips and rises were designed so that as the sun moved it would create different shadows and the look of the lawn would change throughout each day and over the year. Though the design spans a massive 10,000 square feet, Lin originally intended the site to be on a human scale–each wave the size of a small hill. She later accomplished this at New York’s Storm King Sculpture Garden.
The Wave Field is a well-liked place on the campus, where many go to relax and find peace, or enjoy outdoor activities like Frisbee. And despite it’s big brother in New York, the Michigan field is still loved by many lovers of landscape art.
Following suit of her first structure, Lin designed the similar granite memorial in remembrance of those who fought and in the Civil Rights Movement between 1954 and 1968.
The memorial is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and includes the 41 names of those who died during the movement, most notably Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It features a fountain in the shape of an inverted cone, with a thin film of water covering the surface.
Lin’s design was inspired by the soothing effect of water, and by an excerpt from King’s “I Have a Dream“ speech, “… we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream,” which in turn is a reference to the bible.
The memorial is open 24/7, and is near other historic sites related to the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery. I think Lin’s design is perfect for what it represents, it’s simple and calming, and very beautiful.
Maya Lin is a Chinese-American Architect, most widely known for the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Daughter of two Chinese immigrants, Lin was born and raised in Athens, Ohio and later graduated from Yale with a Masters in Architecture.
Lin won a public design contest for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when she was just 21 and still an undergraduate. The competition itself was blind, but when word spread that Lin was an inexperienced Asian female, controversy spread. There were also some negative critiques due to the shape, since it wasn’t typical for a war memorial.
However, Lin defended her design and the memorial –made of black cut granite and carved with over 57 thousand names– is now ranked in the top 10 buildings of American architecture.
This building is a community center in my hometown of Ardmore, OK. They offer summer camps and afterschool programs, events throughout the year, and free lunch to kids 18 and under during the summer. For five years I worked here as a summer camp counselor, caring for kids ages 4-12. I’m an only child, so I guess that’s a reason I enjoy working with kids so much. This building became like a second home to me since I was there at least 40 hours a week every summer for 5 years. I was excited to go there everyday, and it still holds a special place in my heart.
The Goddard Center in Ardmore, Oklahoma has been a part of my life since I was a child. I grew up watching plays in the theater and walking through the art gallery. When I was ten or eleven I took metal construction classes, which turned out to be something I really enjoyed. In the summer of 2013, I auditioned for and got to be in a production of Les Miserables. It was no doubt the greatest 3 months of my life. The summer after that I was in a production of Grease, which was tons of fun as well. This building has always brought me joy no matter what I go there for.
In the summer of 2013, I got the chance to attend deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City. During one of the nights, we saw a screening of a film in the theater of the Devon Energy Tower. This building is already a staple of downtown Oklahoma City, mostly because it’s the tallest building and you can see it from the highway. But standing right next to it and then going inside is a completely different experience. I’d never been that close before, so I did the cliché craning your neck to look all the way up. It was breathtaking. The inside was gorgeous as well; before that night I didn’t even know there was a theater inside. There’s apparently a restaurant in there now as well, and that’s next on my bucket list!
The physical science center, aka the Blender, is arguably the ugliest building on campus. I’m sure we’re all familiar with it, and I’ve had the misfortune of having at least one class here almost every semester. Not only is it far away from the dorms, but the inside of the building is just as ugly and unnecessary as the outside.
The first time I encountered this building was during the first semester of my freshman year. It was for pre-calculus, and the room was simple to find, so at the time I didn’t mind the building all that much. That was until I had to start navigating on floors besides the main one. If ever you want to kill time exploring a maze of hallways, head to the first floor of this building.
Aside from the layout, just seeing the words “physical science center” on my schedule leaves a bad taste in my mouth because it usually means the class is some upper level science or math that I’m not going to look forward to. This building only brings trouble, in more ways than one.