Lin designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a class project, while she was a student at Yale. Her design, a V-shaped wall of black stone, etched with the names of 58,000 dead soldiers, won over the submissions of 1,420 other entrants.
Lin has since created many other major works including the Peace Chapel at Pennsylvania's Juniata College and the "Women's Table", at Yale. At the University of Michigan's College of Education, she created "The Wave Field." Its form - soil, covered in grass - is called pure Earth sculpture. The effect is of waves moving, six feet high.
A strong proponent of the environment, she has served as a Board Member of the National Resources Defense Council and in 2000, she published her first book, Boundaries, which she describes as a visual sketchbook, "where image can be seen as text and text is sometimes used as image."