• Weathered, Season 1
    Anjulie Rao
    Martha Bayne, Aubrey Calaway, Marianela D'Aprile, Justin Duyao, Colleen Hagerty, Virginia Hanusik, Rebecca Journey, Bridget Shirvell, Lina Tran, and Kate Wagner
    Substack, 2021–22
    Anjulie Rao

James Turrell, “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace, 2012, Rice University Moody Center for the Arts, Houston. Photo: Anjulie Rao

Weathered is a seasonal, experimental publication about cities, landscapes, and the built environment in the wintertime. Published as a bi-weekly newsletter between December 21, 2021–March 20, 2022, Weathered commissions writers of all genres to explore themes such as maintenance/care, climate, comfort, darkness, and more through a variety of formats such as personal essays, reported stories, photo essays, and lyrical nonfiction. The publication pursues “comfort criticism:” analyzing, reflecting upon, and communicating issues surrounding our changing social and environmental ecologies; the wintertime represents a microcosm of those conditions. Weathered also presents an opportunity to contribute to a global community of architecture writers and critics. Importantly, as Chicago’s built environment criticism has dwindled, creating a sustained space for new and under-represented writers is enormously important. Opening the genre to creative nonfiction and unconventional critics expands the field, creating possibilities for a more generous future of architecture criticism.

Anjulie Rao is a Chicago-based journalist and writer focusing on equitable design and criticism in the realms of architecture, landscape architecture, public spaces, and development processes. Through her work, she is dedicated to fostering a more nuanced understanding of how we live with—or die by—the built environment. She teaches various writing courses at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in the New Arts Journalism and Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects departments. Rao is a New Leaders Chicago Fellow Alumna (class of 2020) and a Fellow with City Bureau (2021). Previously, she was the editor of Chicago Architect magazine, managing the production of 36 issues between 2015 and 2021. She completed her master's in new arts journalism from SAIC in 2014 and her bylines can be found in The Architectural Review, The Architect's Newspaper, Curbed, Architect magazine, American Craft Magazine, Chicago Magazine, and New York Review of Architecture, among others.