Jessica Varner in today's news (HTC)
Jessica Varner (PhD, Arch/HTC, 2020), was cited in today's news in a story about the effects of building waste and impacts from the building construction industry.
Her current book manuscript:
Chemical Desires: When the Chemical Industry met Modern Architecture (1870-1970) (in progress) analyzes how modern chemical engineering irrevocably changed building practices from 1870 to 1970. Through U.S. corporate records acquired in FOIA requests to architects' paint advertisements, the book explores how BASF, Monsanto, Dow, and DuPont moved strategically from selling materia—raw matter—to pushing building substances with manufactured qualia—qualities derived from synthetic chemical products in coal, oil, and gas byproducts. From Werkbund-sponsored BASF interior fabric dyes to midcentury modern plastics lauded by architect and chemical heir Alden B. Dow, this disruptive research recasts modern architects and architectural modernism's chemical and environmental legacies inextricably linked to corporate profits.
Varner is currently Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at University of California in Los Angeles from 2021-2023