‘John T. Lyle and the Future of Regenerative Design’ exhibition now open in the library

The “John T. Lyle and the Future of Regenerative Design” exhibition is now open to the public on the fourth floor of the University Library in the Don B. Huntley Gallery. As part of the Lyle Center’s 25th anniversary, the exhibition recognizes John T. Lyle’s projects and accomplishments.

John T. Lyle was a professor of landscape architecture at Cal Poly Pomona from 1968-1998. He is known for founding the Center for Regenerative Studies and his work in the field of regenerative design. Regeneration is the restoration or renewal of sources, utilizing areas that can be made productive through energy and materials. 

An opening ceremony of the library exhibition was held Oct. 17 from 5-8 p.m. 

Michele Cairella Fillmore, director and curator for the Kellogg and Huntley University Art Galleries, worked closely with Cybele K. Lyle, daughter of John T. Lyle, guiding and helping her with the tools needed to put the show together.  

“This is a beautiful tribute to a man who left an important mark to his students and to the world,” Cairella Fillmore said. “Students today are collaborating with John Lyle, his talks, travels, incorporating that …. It gives me goosebumps, the impact a person has even though he is not here anymore.” 

The “John T. Lyle and the Future of Regenerative Design” exhibition opened on Oct. 17 as a part of the Lyle Center 25th anniversary celebration.
(Courtesy of William Gunn)

Cairella Fillmore actually had to reschedule another exhibition to next year in order to showcase the Lyle exhibition during the 25th anniversary of the Lyle Center.  

The exhibition is divided into five sections or spheres, with each sphere overlapping to represent Lyle’s ideas, endeavors and accomplishments. Those five sections include: Writings, Talks and Travels, Outside Communities, The Future, Homes and Gardens, and lastly, CPP. 

Along with the five sections, the exhibition guides through Lyle’s 12 strategies of regenerative design. 

Cybele Lyle, curator of the exhibition, began teaching at CPP in spring 2019. 

Students from Cybele’s classes conducted research and helped put together projects for the exhibition. Almost everything inside of the exhibit was created by students. 

Cybele wanted the exhibition to be interactive. 

Guests are able to ask, answer and give thoughts to questions and also draw a new path to the Lyle Center on a laminated map. There is also a corner with John T. Lyle’s personal chair that gives guests a feeling of being in his workspace. 

Pablo La Roche, professor of agriculture and interim director of the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies, also helped with decision making and advice for the exhibit. 

“I really like how she managed to combine different media, video, photographs, text. I think it’s very, very good. I just wish it could stay longer so that more people can see it,” La Roche said. “It’s not only about the past but also about the future. I cannot stress enough how happy I am with the exhibit. I think Cybele and Michele did a good job.” 

Lyle’s daughter, Cybele, is the curator of the exhibition and designed the showcase to be interactive.
(Courtesy of William Gunn)

Cybele recommends taking a handout at the entrance of the exhibit, which is a guide that gives another perspective of the show, written by her mom, Harriett Lyle.  

“I am really excited about it and so many people worked so hard on it. We have a few big goals; we want as many people to see it, we are hoping to make a website,” Cybele said. 

“I feel really good about the show …. I hope people come check it out. And the nicest parts have been getting to know my dad’s work more and working with students … and hoping students get to learn through the show.” 

There is free admission for the exhibition and it will remain open until Dec. 8 from noon-4 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and noon-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in Building 15, room 4435. 

Next door, students can also visit the library’s Special Collections and Archives, a rare collection of books and archives presenting the John T. Lyle exhibit which is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

For more information about the “John T. Lyle and the Future of Regenerative Design” exhibition, visit env.cpp.edu/huntley or email artgalleries@cpp.edu.

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