Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Degree Level



Landscape Architecture


Scott E. Biehle

Committee Member/Reader

Kimball Douglas Erdman

Committee Member/Second Reader

Ethel Sara Goodstein


Islam arrived in North America primarily through the importation of Muslim African slaves. Subsequent suppression of the slaves, and by extension their religion and places of worship, generated a lack of understanding and misunderstanding about Islam. Over time, this misunderstanding evolved into xenophobic and orientalist representations of the religion. This Capstone project researches Islam’s roots in colonial America through the period before the Columbian Exposition of 1893, and its evolution after the Columbian Exposition, with defining time periods expressed as Erasure, Orientalism/Exoticism, and Americanization. With the help of cultural trust organizations such as the Aga Khan Foundation, the contemporary Americanization era is now approaching Islam and Islamic cultural design more authentically. This capstone then addresses how contemporary design is working towards breaking away from past exoticized and Orientalized ideas and how it attempts to engage the non-Muslim populations through design more adequately.


Midway Plaisance, Islamic cultural design, Columbian Exposition, Aga Khan Garden, Chini Khana, Service Learning