Jessica Varner

Jessica Varner is an architect, historian, and PhD candidate in the History, Theory & Criticism section in the MIT Department of Architecture. Her research looks at the intersections of environmental history and architecture history through chemical development from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, including within construction histories, health and hygiene debates, labor issues, chemical corporations, global industrial development, and building material toxicity. Her dissertation is titled “Chemical Desires (1850–1929), The Making and Unmaking of Modern Values in Architectural Materials.” In this pursuit, her research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Pre-Doctoral Visiting Fellowship), a Fulbright Germany (Research Fellowship), MIT MISTI Germany and India, a Canadian Centre for Architecture (PhD Fellowship), and the Graham Foundation. Jessica received a Bachelors in Science from University of Nebraska, and a Master of Architecture degree, and a Master of Environmental Design from Yale University. Prior to attending MIT, she taught architecture at the University of Southern California and Woodbury University, while practicing architecture in Los Angeles (CA) at Michael Maltzan Architecture.