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AGA KHAN GARDEN

Welcome to the Aga Khan Garden Web App prototype! You can choose if you want to play, learn, reflect or think about topics related to the Islamic World like: Botany & Environment, Art & Design, Music Sound & Poetry, and Intercultural Understanding.

To use the app, close this screen and tap on the flower.

The Aga Khan Garden is open to all people. It is a secular space inspired by historical gardens of the Islamic world. Created for reflection, inspiration, education and intercultural dialogue, visitors are invited to experience the beauty of nature, as well as the diverse arts, music and cultures of the Islamic world. It is wheelchair-accessible and available for hosting special events.

Located within the traditional territories of the Treaty Six First Nations, the 4.8 hectare garden is part of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden in Parkland County, Alberta, Canada, just south of south of the City of Edmonton.

Designed by the firm Nelson Byrd Woltz, it is a contemporary interpretation of the Islamic world's garden and landscape design traditions, especially those of Mughal India. At the same time, the design responds to the unique qualities of Alberta's ecology and geography.

In addition to forested areas, the garden includes around 25,000 plants, trees and shrubs and is a place to better understand the importance of plants to our ecosystem. It includes the following:

  • Woodland Bagh
    A woodland natural area
  • Chahar Bagh
    A central 4-part lawn and flower garden
  • Bustan
    A fruit orchard encircling a pond and wetland garden
  • Amphitheatre
    An outdoor venue for music and performance

His Highness the Aga Khan gifted the garden to the University of Alberta in 2009, following his receipt of an honorary doctorate for his philanthropic work. The garden's construction was overseen by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

The Web App for the garden was developed with the support of a Partnership Development Grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Find out more by tapping on the images below:

Aga Khan IV
PHOTO: AKDN/Moez Visram

"I am presenting a gift today which reflects both my Islamic heritage and your University traditions. … We hope this space will be of educational and aesthetic value, a setting for learning more about Muslim culture and design, as well as a place for public reflection."

Excerpt from Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Graduation Ceremony of the University of Alberta - 2009-06-09

His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims.

In Islam’s ethical tradition, religious leaders not only interpret the faith but also have a responsibility to help improve the quality of life in their community and in the societies amongst which they live. For His Highness the Aga Khan, this has meant a deep engagement with development for over 50 years through the agencies of the AKDN.


Logo

The garden's logo was created by the Aga Khan Development Network. To create it, a free-flowing, calligraphic version of the word Allah (The Eternal) was rendered in Arabic and rotated 7 times to form the floral logo. Versions of the logo use the colour green, which signifies proliferating greenery and growth, an eternal regeneration.


Treaty 6

Indian Chiefs Medal, presented to commemorate Treaty Numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1986-79-1638)

The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that it is located on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway / Saulteaux / Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.

Medals like the one above show two men shaking hands with a hatchet buried between them, an idealization of an often traumatic history. The medals were made to mark the signing of Treaty 6 and others.

Find out more by tapping the following links:

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Entry 1Jilau KhanaAmphi-
theatre
Talar🚻DiwanChahar BaghRose BaghIce BaghMahtabiBustan NWBustan SE
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Scroll down and tap on a module that interests you. Tap on the tags below to select a particular topic.
Puzzle Paintings

Gardens were a popular subject in the art of the Islamic world. Unscramble these paintings of gardens!

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Images from the Learn > Painted Gardens module have been gathered here and turned into puzzles.



INSTRUCTIONS Press play below, pick a puzzle and solve it. Tap on the squares and drag to move around. When all the squares are in the right place, you will be notified.

TIME NEEDED

8 puzzles
1 puzzle ~ 4 min.
All puzzles ~ 32 min.

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learn
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Scroll down and tap on a module that interests you. Tap on the tags below to select a particular topic.
Plants of the Garden

Find out what plants and trees are in the Aga Khan Garden!

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Enjoy the mix of local trees, shrubs, grasses and wetland plants, with transplanted and specially cultivated ornamental flowers and fruit trees. There are 5 spots where plants and trees are identified. Visit as many as you like, in any order you want. If you are at the garden, try the GPS option. Content will appear based on your location.



INSTRUCTIONS
At the Garden (GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears allow location access.

2) Wander around. Your device will notify you when you come across something.

Requirements: GPS, Location services enabled, Internet
(Your data will not be collected)


Not at the Garden (No GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears don't allow location access.

2) Tap on a marker on the map.


TIME NEEDED

5 stops
1 stop ~ 5 min.
All stops ~ 25 min.

Visit as many stops as you like, in any order.

Painted Gardens

Discover paintings of gardens in the art of the Islamic World from Spain to China.

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You will get a glimpse of the social life of gardens and past ideals. There are 13 paintings of gardens specially chosen for various spots. Visit as many as you like, in any order you want. If you are at the garden, try the GPS option. Content will appear based on your location.



INSTRUCTIONS
At the Garden (GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears allow location access.

2) Wander around. Your device will notify you when you come across something.

Requirements: GPS, Location services enabled, Internet
(Your data will not be collected)


Not at the Garden (No GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears don't allow location access.

2) Tap on a marker on the map.


TIME NEEDED

13 stops
1 stop ~ 2 - 5min.
All stops ~ 36 min.

Visit as many stops as you like, in any order.

Edmonton & the Islamic World
(coming soon)

Coming soon...

Arabic Botany
(coming soon)

Coming soon...

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reflect
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Scroll down and tap on a module that interests you. Tap on the tags below to select a particular topic.
Nature Mindwalks

Nature shows us how all life in our world is connected.

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Wander the garden and you will find 7 guided meditations that reflect on the beauty and interconnectedness of our natural world. Visit as many as you like, in any order you want. If you are at the garden, try the GPS option. Content will appear based on your location.


INSTRUCTIONS
At the Garden (GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears allow location access.

2) Wander around. Your device will notify you when you come across something.

Requirements: GPS, Location services enabled, Internet
(Your data will not be collected)


Not at the Garden (No GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears don't allow location access.

2) Tap on a marker on the map.


TIME NEEDED

7 stops
1 stop ~ 7 min.
All stops ~ 49 min.



Sounding the Garden

You are in a garden of sounds. Hear the flow of water, the calls of birds and insects, the creaking of trees, and the conversations of others.

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Experience 7 unique soundscapes for different parts of the garden that blend music, poetry recitation, and birdsong. They are inspired by the famous Persian poem Conference of the Birds by Attar. Visit as many as you like, in any order you want. If you are at the garden, try the GPS option. Content will appear based on your location.



INSTRUCTIONS
At the Garden (GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears allow location access.

2) Wander around. Your device will notify you when you come across something.

Requirements: GPS, Location services enabled, Internet
(Your data will not be collected)


Not at the Garden (No GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears don't allow location access.

2) Tap on a marker on the map.


TIME NEEDED

7 stops
1 stop ~ 9 min.
All stops ~ 63 min.

Visit as many stops as you like, in any order

A Garden of Poems

Plants and nature have long been a part of the poetry and stories of the Islamic world.

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There are 14 spots with specially chosen poetic passages waiting to be discovered in the garden! You'll find examples from Spain to SE Asia originally written in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Urdu, Hindi and Malay.


INSTRUCTIONS

Press PLAY below and tap on a marker on the map.


TIME NEEDED

14 stops
1 stop ~ 2 min.
All stops ~ 30 min.

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think
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Scroll down and tap on a module that interests you. Tap on the tags below to select a particular topic.
Coming soon ...
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tour
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Scroll down and tap on a module that interests you. Tap on the tags below to select a particular topic.
The Designers' Tour

Find out how the designers' of the Aga Khan Garden think about their design.

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Take a tour of the Aga Khan Garden with some of the designers from Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Thomas Woltz, Breck Gastinger, Nathan Foley, and Sandra Nam Cioffi. There are 14 stops around the garden in this module. Visit as many as you like, in any order you want. If you are at the garden, try the GPS option. Content will appear based on your location.



INSTRUCTIONS
At the Garden (GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears allow location access.

2) Wander around. Your device will notify you when you come across something.

Requirements: GPS, Location services enabled, Internet
(Your data will not be collected)


Not at the Garden (No GPS)?

1) Press PLAY below and on the pop-up screen that appears don't allow location access.

2) Tap on a marker on the map.


TIME NEEDED

14 stops
1 stop ~ 2-3 min.
All stops ~ 30 min.

Visit as many stops as you like, in any order.

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