Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art

Research & Creation

The Alpine Garden MisGuide

Jill Didur, Ian Arawjo, Amanda Tom

The Alpine Garden MisGuide is a locative media app set in the Alpine Garden at the Montreal Botanical Garden (MBG). Download the app to explore the relationship between the history of alpine garden design and colonial plant hunting.

The app invites you on a plant-hunting journey using a GPS enabled compass to locate QR codes installed in the garden. Using the in-app vintage camera, scan these QR codes in sequence to unlock botanical drawings linked to archival photos, texts, and recorded conversations and readings, about the history of alpine garden design and colonial botanical exploration. Collect all nine QR codes to complete a jigsaw puzzle, and be sure to press some flowers in your herbarium along way — when you leave the garden, you will retain the drawings, sound recordings and photos you have gathered.

In addition to animating your visit to the Alpine Garden in a new way, the MisGuide app also includes insight into the garden’s history and the work that goes into maintaining its plants and contemporary design. Alpine garden design strives to create an environment that imitates the landscapes and growing conditions required for exotic alpine plants to thrive in their transplanted locations. Rock and alpine gardens reached the height of popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, a craze that was fueled by accounts of botanical heroism recorded by colonial plant hunters such as Frank Kingdon-Ward and Reginald J. Farrer. The MisGuide reflects on how these plant hunters were transformed by their experiences in the mountains of South and Central Asia, and considers how this influenced their approach to rock and alpine garden design back at home.

alpine pippin

Visitors to the Alpine Garden at the Montreal Botanical Garden are encouraged to download the app before their visit, and to use earphones to enhance their experience of the recorded material. The Alpine Garden MisGuide is designed for iPhone 4 or later. Once downloaded, Wi-Fi or data services are not required for you to use the app in the garden.

Grab your compass….Ready? Go!

Games and Public Engagement