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Title:Contemporary Islamic gardens and cultural identity: Three case studies from North America and Europe
Author(s):Habibullah, Amir Mohammed
Director of Research:Ruggles, D.Fairchild
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ruggles, D.Fairchild
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hays, David L; Stallmeyer, John C; Khan, Hasan Uddin
Department / Program:Landscape Architecture
Discipline:Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Islamic Garden
Contemporary Islamic Garden
Cultural Identity
Abstract:This dissertation explores the development of Islamic gardens as a global phenomenon in the contemporary world. I argue that Islamic gardens are not restricted to particular locations, cultures, or environments; instead, they can be adapted in different parts of the world, including in places that are not primarily Muslim. To demonstrate this expansion, three contemporary Islamic gardens located in Europe and North America are examined through site observation, interviews, and a review of primary and secondary sources. These cases are the Mughal Garden in Bradford, UK; the Bakewell Ottoman Garden in St. Louis, US; and the Aga Khan Park in Toronto, Canada. In particular, the case studies are intended to demonstrate the role of the designers and patrons in constructing the identity of Islamic gardens in North America and Europe. An in-depth examination of the case studies shows the effect of globalization, tourism, and the flow of people in the creation of Islamic parks and gardens in the Western context. In forming this identity, the designers deliberately connected their design, both physically and conceptually, to the past by using various interpretation techniques. However, the transposition of the Islamic garden to a global context has required certain negotiations with local cultural, geographical, and climatic conditions to produce a meaningful experience and prevent cultural alienation. These adaptations reveal the flexibility of Islamic gardens as forms and concepts. Most previous literature on Islamic gardens has focused on the pre-modern period, with limited attention devoted to the nineteenth century or beyond. However, this dissertation extends this historical framework of Islamic gardens to the contemporary period and its defined Islamic geographical boundaries into a global context, while also addressing critical questions about their meaning and identity up to the twenty-first century.
Issue Date:2020-05-04
Rights Information:© 2020 Amir Mohammed Habibullah
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-27
Date Deposited:2020-05

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