Jiang Jun: «An editor must be a researcher of context»

07.09.2011, 13:37
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The upcoming weekend at Strelka will be devoted to a forum on city magazines. The editors-in-chief of leading urban magazines – Jiang Jun of Urban China, Arjen Oosterman of Volume, Alexey Muratov of Project Russia, and Peng Yangdzhun, the art-director of Outlook, — will gather together to share their experience and views on how modern-day publications keep pace and find a balance between immediate demands and universal values, and how to best approach problems of urbanism and architecture nowadays. Jiang Jun, the editor-in-chief of Urban China, has disclosed his secret of making a successful urban magazine.


About himself: I am an architect and a designer. I graduated from Tongji University (Shanghai) and Tsinghua University (Beijing). The magazine Urban China was founded by myself in late 2004; it was the first magazine about urbanism in China. The basic idea behind it is to be as inclusive and specific as possible. We cover a wide range of topics starting from politics, city, society and ending with fashion. All of them can be united by the category Urban.

About the process: At the beginning of each year we try to observe the trend and set up a list of topics that seem interesting to us and the general public. We delegate the themes to different people and groups of people who do research and set up an editorial model for each topic. Later we send tasks to contributors. Afterwards, when they send us their work, we integrate everything that has been created by different contributors into the magazine. And we have a certain deadline to this. So my job is about communicating and underlining the most important. I think an editor must be a researcher of the themes he or she is covering and, even more importantly, a researcher of the themes’ context.

About competitors: I think Volume, Colors, Monocle are good magazines about cities and architecture.

About the magazine’s goal: All we are trying to achieve is be a strong mediator who can connect decision-makers and the general public. Urban China is trying to understand the two parts of the society, and build one point of view on the issue of urbanization in China.