Veronika Szkudlarek: Sustainable Futures, NYC

Collection of Daily Drawings from 2016-2018, C4D prints and Soft Pastel on Craft Paper
Friday, October 5, 2018 - 10:00am to Friday, November 9, 2018 - 6:00pm

Veronika Szkudlarek : Sustainable Futures, NYC

Chinatown Soup Gallery
16 Orchard St, Lower East Side, New York , NY 

Opening: October 5th from 5:00pm-8:00pm

Artists: Yasmeen Abdallah, Charisse Foo, Zoey Hart, Sohee Koo, Mangda Sengvanhpheng, and Veronika Szkudlarek

This exhibition explores the concept of sustainable futures. What does a sustainable future look like? In NYC? Around the world? As populations grow, sea levels rise, and food systems are modified, what role will sustainability and design play? In envisioning what a sustainable future is, it’s possible to imagine successful, as well as dystopian outcomes. 

Veronika Szkudlarek explores the interdisciplinary and innovative possibilities of paint and digital imaging by using traditional analogue material like oil paints and soft pastel with animation software like Cinema 4D, After Effects, Dragonframe and Photoshop.  She looks to areas of growth, including technology and expanded practices for inspiration, most recently using virtual reality to make 3D paintings.  


Venue & Address: 
Chinatown Soup Gallery 16 Orchard St, Lower East Side, New York , NY 

The Future of Carbon Information: About Consumer Products


Canada is behind in the effort to curb carbon emissions: it ranks 15th out of 17 for greenhouse gas per capita emissions out of all OECD countries (OECD Environment Directorate, 2008). A portion of carbon emissions relate to production and consumption of goods. In the marketplace, there are innovations in assessment of consumer goods that could allow the widespread comparison of carbon impacts at the product-­‐level. It is unclear which drivers will be the dominant factors that influence the future use of carbon life‐cycle assessment of products (CLCA). The foresight process known as "Cone of Plausibility" is used and enhanced to manipulate important drivers which create four scenarios for CLCA in Canada over the next 10 years. This study provides scenarios for business, government and research institutions attempting to innovate in the retail space to test out their strategies and to evaluate if they are salient in each scenario.  

The future of carbon information
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 5:30pm


The cold season is winding down for the year. But what a cold season it was.  We had record breaking cold this winter curtesy of the wonky Jet stream.  The extremely warm pacific ocean seems to have pushed warm air into the arctic and the jet stream pushed the cold air abnormally south into Toronto.  So the North-East in Canada and the USA was the one place on the globe that had a very cold winter.  A perfect year to test the passive solar prototype.  Every morning when our colleagues were complaining about the extreme cold we were given rather scathing looks when we were excited to run up to the greenhouse and see how it was doing.


While we had repeated cold nights down to -25°C (-13°F) we didn’t lose a single plant to frost in the greenhouse. We never added any supplemental heat even on the coldest days.  All the heat provided from the winter sun.

These are the official data from Environment Canada


# frost days

Minimum Nighttime temp

Average Nighttime Temp

Average Daytime Max



-21.2C (-6.2°F)

-12.3°C (9.9°F)

-2.8°C (27.0°F)


28 (of 28)

-25.5°C (-13.9°F)

-17°C (1.4°F)

-12.6°C (9.3F)



-18.9°C (-2.0°F)

-6.6°C (20°F)

-1.9°C (28.6°F)



-3.7°C (25.3°F)

2.0°C (35.6°F)

7.5°C (45.5°F)


We had a lot of interest from numerous sectors to tour the greenhouse and the number of tours spiked as the cold temperature set in.  Possibly the thought of a chance to go into a greenhouse when the days were so cold helped the interest.  However, all were amazed that our little Passive Solar Greenhaus could work so well up on a windy exposed urban rooftop. We did have days where the wind chill temperature equivalent approached -45°C (-49°F) and we had to shovel a path through the roof snow.


One exciting event here at the university was on March 19th when we did a major harvest of greens from the greenhouse to be used for a big salad at our Student Union free lunch.  The students loved the fact that they were eating a salad grown on the university roof during a record cold winter, all with passive solar heating.  I think we made some converts.

The longer sunny days at the end of March and early April held their own challenges.  So much sun meant that on some days in the middle of April the plants hit 30°C (86°F). The plants were loving the sun and really took off with the longer days.  However, this is a bit hot for our growing purposes, although nice for the humans after a long winter.  We upgraded the ventilation fan and system to solve this issue.  We now have a 800cfm gable fan driven by a small solar panel (see photos).  This fan is more than capable of cooling the 100ft2 greenhouse and is even quieter than the old fan.  The vents still open passively and the fan is on a thermostat set at 25°C and is working beautifully.

Image of green plants growing indoors
Image of green plants growing indoors
Image of green plants growing indoors
Image of green plants growing indoors
Image of green plants growing indoors
Image of ventilation equipment
Image of a solar panel on a roof
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 7:15pm
Lab Member: 
Ian D. Clarke


The weather has been unusually harsh in Toronto over the last two weeks.  We have had temperatures down below -23ºC (-10ºF) which really challenges the Passive Urban Greenhaus design prototype.  We are collecting a lot of great data from our 15 data monitors in the prototype.  The good news is that only on the most extreme nights did the temperature dip into the frost range, but the plants in their cozy beds all came through with flying colours (or at least green and reds).  In fact a few of the arugula started to flower in the middle of February before we pinched the flowers off (pictures below).

We are still pushing the prototype to the extreme, operating under these harsh conditions without any backup heating at all.  Only passive solar heat storage to keep the growing conditions above winter.  Not the best idea if you are growing for crops as one extremely cold night could wipe out a lot of plants, but the only way to really test the performance of the greenhouse.

Plants Growing
Plants Growing
Plants Growing
Monday, February 16, 2015 - 8:15pm
Lab Member: 
Ian D. Clarke


What makes Thorncliffe Park a ‘magnet’ to new Canadians? What defines it as a ‘welcoming community’? Based on indicators provided by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the research intends to evaluate whether or not an urban neighbourhood is a welcoming community. The community of Thorncliffe Park was chosen as the case study for this project. Thorncliffe Park is an inner suburban neighbourhood in the City of Toronto and is one of the City;s most multicultural neighbourhoods. A review of the literature related to this topic indicates a lack of an empirical evaluation of a welcoming community.


WATCH: WELCOMING COMMUNITIES from job rutgers on Vimeo.

Bird's view satellite image of a Toronto neighbourhood with overlaid text reading: What makes Thorncliff Park a Welcoming Community?"
Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 6:45pm