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vlad is an experienced product and design leader with a focus on creating meaningful digital products, currently shaping the future of work at miro.com as head of design.

his diverse background across design, product management, brand, comms, and research, creates a holistic perspective on how things should work. in connection with an authentic leadership style, it becomes the just-right blend for navigating the ambiguity, leading cross-functional teams, and strategizing memorable experiences.



i'm on a mission to bring beauty and clarity through design leadership. that short yet comprehensive statement reflects the things i'm trying to do throughout my conscious life.

even if it feels a bit abstract from the beginning, i'll help you to get the idea. as a big fan of meaningful word choice, I'd like at first define the terms:

*mission is the purpose of doing things in a certain way according to your values and principles.

*beauty is a category, referencing to sensorial experiences — mostly visual and audial — that pleases our aesthetic feelings.

*clarity is the quality of being coherent and intelligible.

*design s an act of defining models, processes, artifacts, concepts, or messages.

*leadership is an ability to motivate and empower people to execute shared vision based on mutual commitment.

so, that's my mission: to bring beauty and clarity through design leadership.




this semantic field corresponds with me:

aesthetics, analytics, art, authenticity, business, co-creation, collaboration, commitment, communication, community, craftsmanship, critical thinking, culture, design, digital, diversity , dry flowers, electronic music, empathy, ethics, experience, experiment, exploration, fashion, freedom, graphics, humanism, impact, intuition, kindness, leadership, management, meaning, meditation, mission, modern, nowness, observation, partnership, photography, product, research, responsibility, strategy, style, support, sustainability, systems, technology, trust, typography, uncertainty, vision, www.

i discovered my passion for design by accident in childhood while playing with slices of fabric in granny’s house and thinking about fashion look styling for dolls.

it was very unconventional in russia in the late 90-s — early 2000-s, i assume it's still so. well, i quit my hobby to focus on computer games, martial arts, and lego — yeah, quite masculine, i know. my favorite part with the lego blocks was building new models out of existing ones. it didn't fit the instruction but unveiled creativity, reliance on intuition, and dealing with constructive obstacles. after assembling them, i was defining superpowers for the characters and putting them into the imaginative world for my own gameplay.

lately, in mid-school, i was taking guitar classes, as well as poetry classes with readings. i believe it played a central role in developing an aesthetic feeling within myself. on the other hand, martial arts and hiking helped a lot with willpower, executing commitments over time and establishing a strong connection with nature.

i ended up being invited to the largest and well-known center in russia for talented youth. luckily, i grabbed my dad's camera and by chance took the very first prize in a photo contest for the unique perspective. wow.

that changed my trajectory. being somewhere in-between passion for mathematics and physics, and also putting much effort into russian literature, i realized that a strange combo of rationality coupling with creativity will guide me through life.

i have no outstanding drawing skills, but software enabled me to express myself and provide my vision to the world. while taking photos and playing with endless filters and settings in photoshop, i started noticing it getting deeper and deeper.

in parallel, before the final exams at school i was absolutely randomly invited to participate in the contest which was called “student of the year”, kek. I almost succeeded there — but what is most important: I got educational credits to learn managerial and negotiation courses for free from the tallinn school of management. it seemed fun, so I enrolled. after the education period, we had two case-study tournaments to prove our skills. a classical one, and a speedy one. i fucked up (again) the classical one — but what is most important (again) — i was invited to study “web-design” in the russian-british institute of management for free. and that defined the rest of my professional life. (btw, i won the speedy tournament the next day.)

so, yeah, i accepted the offer and i was learning design as well as management in the managerial institute back in 2012 —  before it became mainstream. technically i have a degree in design management :–)

by now, i've deeply appreciated my diverse background and the mixture of personal and professional experiences which helps me to become a multidisciplinary human with a broad range of interests.

i love the intersection of things, complex domain areas, and working across different functional roles to make sure we create a holistic, yet beautiful experience. i used to work as a sales manager and distributor, instructional designer and editor, product and design manager, brand designer, graphic designer, ux designer, product designer, and, of course web-designer or digital designer; episodically i found myself in the role of a photographer, lecturer, educator, creative technologist, strategist, copywriter, researcher, stylist or even chef for some projects.
the idea of multiple identities or multiple representations of myself is greatly fulfilling and energising for me.

my childhood love of style evolved into my motto: “beauty and clarity”. i strive to apply it to all things from suggesting a friend buying the space boots instead of regular sneakers to writing the blog or building communities.

if you would like to do something together — don’t hesitate to say hi: vladzely@gmail.com