Brain Food: How does she manage? - Diana Cochrane, Director of interior design, Urban Salon

Interior designer, Diana Cochrane, Director of interior design, Urban Salon. When did you become a manager?

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

On the very first project I worked on after leaving the Royal College of Art, which was a portable architectural exhibition.

What does management mean to you?

Good design management is taking intuitive, risky decisions, and enabling others to develop and implement them so that everyone is surprised and excited by the outcome. The ability to make really good tea and impeccable timing are important, and, if all else fails, being able to drink everyone else under the table. I'm closely involved with all our projects, both creatively and in ensuring that we hit our deadlines. We have developed a reputation for problem-solving - many of our projects require careful management and creative thinking. For Marks & Spencer, we researched its history, which helped us to develop a concept design that reflects the brand's personality. Before designing an office for ad agency BBH, we observed how their teams interacted to ensure that the space worked for them.

What do you love/hate about it?

I love working closely with clients and getting results that really work.

I love proposing collaborations between people in our studio and others outside. I hate working alongside managers who don't have the same high expectations, and I hate not being able to get messy any more - that's my art college history.

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