Jessica Varner

Jessica Varner is an architect, historian, and PhD candidate in the History, Theory & Criticism section at MIT. Founder of the research studio Smallerlarge, her research looks at the intersections of environmental history and architecture history through chemicals from the nineteenth century to the present, including production histories, health and hygiene, labor equality, chemical corporations, global industrial development, and building material toxicity. Her dissertation is titled "Corporate Chemical Desires (1850-1929): Making the Architectural Materials of Modernity."

Her research has been supported under a MIT Presidential Fellowship, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Pre-Doctoral Visiting Fellowship, a Fulbright Germany Research Fellowship, and is a Fellow in Martin Society of Fellows for the Environment. Her work has also been supported by research grants from the MIT MISTI India and Germany Program, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Graham Foundation. Prior co-edited titles include Retrospecta 06/07 (2007) and Paul Rudolph: Writing on Architecture (2009) with the Yale School of Architecture, No More Play (2011) with Michael Maltzan, produced by Hatje Cantz. Ms. Varner received a B.S. from University of Nebraska, a Master of Architecture degree, and Master of Environmental Design from Yale University. Prior to attending MIT, she taught at both USC and Woodbury, while practicing architecture in Los Angeles (CA) at Michael Maltzan Architecture.