Frequently cited as a benchmark of modern cross-national design, Maya Lin's work draws influence from Japanese gardens, American Indian earthen mounds, her parents, and her architectural design training at Yale University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture degrees. While at Yale, Lin was awarded first place for her design of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. The sublimely simple design was a radical departure from the more traditional war memorials popular at the time, earning her national recognition and marking the beginning of her distinguished career as a designer of memorials and public spaces.
Lin’s work is recognized for a keen sense of simple, elegant beauty with clear inspirations from nature. These elements were gracefully displayed in her designs for Knoll, which were commissioned in celebration of the company’s sixtieth anniversary. Reflecting on the concept behind the collection, Lin explained: “At the heart of this furniture collection for Knoll is my love for the land, which can be traced back to my childhood in the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio. It goes back to a childhood fascination we all have — that moment when you discover that the earth is round…and you walk around trying to see that curve.”