• Weathered, Season 2
    Anjulie Rao
    Substack, 2022–23
    Anjulie Rao

David Schalliol, "Ice fishing in Waconia, Minnesota," 2022. Digital photograph. Courtesy the artist

Weathered is a seasonal, experimental publication about cities, landscapes, and the built environment in the wintertime. The second season is published as a biweekly newsletter between December 21, 2022–March 20, 2023. 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 journalist and critic covering the built environment. Based in Chicago, much of her work reckons with the complexities of post-industrial cities; explores connections to place and land; and exposes intersections between architecture, landscapes, and cultural change. 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.