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Fulbright scholar Jessica Varner at KIT Architecture Theory


Jessica Varner is a PhD candidate in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her dissertation Chemical Desires (1851–1929): Making the Architectural Materials of Modernity looks at the global rise of chemicals within architectural building materials, specifically in emerging corporations including
BASF (Germany), United Alkali Company (England), Monsanto (United States), DuPont (United States), and Solvay (Belgium). Here in chemical additives, impregnated wood, clear glass, cleaning products, and synthetic paints and dyes—the stuff of everyday buildings—chemistry’s visibility, environmental destruction, chemical engineering’s solutions, modernity’s aesthetics, and architecture’s anti-risk and economically focused values come together as a way to understand what has become modern architecture’s legacy, inextricably linked to the chemical world.

As a Fulbright scholar at KIT Architekturtheorie / Prof. Dr. Georg Vrachliotis, Jessica is investigating BASF’s role in theproduction of synthetic architectural colorings, paints, and coatings in the late nineteenth century, which resulted in new definitions of vivid objective color, while invisibleeffects around the company’s waste materials polluted bodies and waterways alike.

Jessica received a MSc from the University of Nebraska (2005), and a M.Arch(2008) and a MED (2014, History) from Yale University with a thesis on the expertise debates in the 1970s between the climate scientists and architects in the publication CoEvolutionary Quarterly (California). She is also an architect and began teaching architecture at the University of Southern California and Woodbury University in Los Angeles in 2009, while practicing architecture in Los Angeles (CA) at Michael Maltzan Architecture. Prior co-edited titles include Retrospecta 06/07 (Yale, 2007), Paul Rudolph: Writing on Architecture (Yale, 2009), and No More Play (Hatje Cantz, 2011). Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships, including from the MIT Presidential Fellowship, MIT MISTI India and Germany, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Graham Foundation, the Max Planck Institute for the Historyof Science, the Martin Society of Fellows for the Environment.


 
 
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Fakultät für Architektur
Institut Entwerfen, Kunst und Theorie

Fachgebiet Architekturtheorie
Englerstr. 7, Raum 254
D-76131 Karlsruhe
 
Leitung: Prof. Dr. Georg Vrachliotis
 
Sekretariat: Claudia Iordache
Tel.: +49 721 60845052
architekturtheorie@ekut.kit.edu
 
Öffnungszeiten: Mo-Mi 9:00-12:00
 
 
 
Recent Publications:  
 

    Frei Otto, Carlfried Mutschler, Multihalle

    May 18, 2018

    Georg Vrachliotis: Frei Otto, Carlfried Mutschler, Multihalle, Spector Books, Leipzig, 2017.

     
     

    Frei Otto. Thinking by Modeling

    May 18, 2018

    Georg Vrachliotis and Joachim Kleinmanns, Martin Kunz, Philip Kurz (ed.), Frei Otto. Thinking by Modeling, Spector Books, Leipzig, 2017.

     
     

    Fritz Haller: Architekt und Forscher

    May 18, 2018

    Laurent Stalder und Georg Vrachliotis (Hg.): Fritz Haller: Architekt und Forscher (Dokumente zur modernen Schweizer Architektur), gta Verlag, ETH Zürich, 2016.

     
     

    Geregelte Verhältnisse: Architektur und technisches Denken in der Epoche der Kybernetik

    May 18, 2018

    Vrachliotis, Georg (2012): Geregelte Verhältnisse: Architektur und technisches Denken in der Epoche der Kybernetik. Springer-Verlag Wien

     
     

    Structuralism Reloaded. Rule-Based Design in Architecture and Urbanism

    May 18, 2018

    Valena, Tomáš; Avermaete Tom; Vrachliotis, Georg (Hg.)(2011): Structuralism Reloaded. Rule-Based Design in Architecture and Urbanism. Edition Axel Menges, Stuttgart/London

     
     

    Code: Zwischen Operation und Narration

    May 18, 2018

    Gleiniger, Andrea; Vrachliotis, Georg (Hg.)(2010): 



 Code: Zwischen Operation und Narration. Reihe Kontext Architektur, Birkhäuser, Basel Ÿ Boston Ÿ Berlin

     
     

    Muster: Ornament, Struktur und Verhalten

    May 18, 2018

    Gleiniger, Andrea; Vrachliotis, Georg (Hg.)(2009): 



 Muster: Ornament, Struktur und Verhalten. Reihe Kontext Architektur, Birkhäuser, Basel Ÿ Boston Ÿ Berlin

     
     

    Komplexität: Entwurfsstrategie und Weltbild

    May 18, 2018

    Gleiniger, Andrea; Vrachliotis, Georg (Hg.)(2008): 



 Komplexität: Entwurfsstrategie und Weltbild. Reihe Kontext Architektur, Birkhäuser, Basel Ÿ Boston Ÿ Berlin

     
     

    Simulation: Präsentationstechnik und Erkenntnisinstrument

    March 12, 2018

    Gleiniger, Andrea; Vrachliotis, Georg (Hg.)(2008): 



 Simulation: Präsentationstechnik und Erkenntnisinstrument. Reihe Kontext Architektur, Birkhäuser, Basel Ÿ Boston Ÿ Berlin