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Designers in Ukraine: A conversation with Maksym Iuriichuk of Sivak+Partners



As designers, humans, parents and children, our empathy and compassion goes to the people of Ukraine and all others afflicted by the ongoing war and crisis. We believe there can be no design without democracy. We were recently contacted by Maksym Iuriichuk, Co-owner and Chief Designer of Sivak+Partners based in Odesa and Kyiv, and we invited him to share his experience as a Ukrainian designer through an emailed conversation with RBW's Director of Growth, Alex Williams.

Alex: We cannot imagine the experience you're going through, how are you, how is your family, do you feel safe right now?

Maksym: It's really hard to imagine in 2022, but it's true, it's a reality. It has already been the third week since Russia started a full-scale war in Ukraine. All this time I’ve been at home in Odessa with my family. In the beginning it was very difficult to accept this reality. It was very scary and it is still scary now, but every day we try to live with it, distract ourselves with something, try to do everyday things, help the army and people in need. For example today I was baking bread at home for the first time in my life. When you do something it helps a lot, while we have such a privilege, cause in our city is not such a difficult situation as in other big cities, where people were left without their homes, food, water, reception and internet. At the moment Odessa is safer than Kharkov or Kherson, but we still hear air-raid warnings every day and go down to the basement in our house with our two cats.

Alex: How is your team doing?

Maksym: My partners Dmitriy and Alexey are also here in Odessa. Some members of our team had left the country at the beginning of the war for Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Germany… Some of them had to leave Kyiv and cross the whole country in search of a safer place. Some people also stayed in Odessa for now.

We still hear air-raid warnings every day and go down to the basement in our house with our two cats.

Maksym Iurrichuk's window in Odessa, protected with tape in case of explosions

Alex: How is the design community in Kyiv & Odessa, have you seen or spoken with any colleagues recently?

Many people from other design studios are helping the victims in Kyiv, some have joined the territory defense army, some of them do volunteer work. Everyone is trying to help each other in different ways.

Alex: In addition to making direct donations, are there other ways we in the design community abroad can be of service or support?

Maksym: Yes, besides donating money to Ukrainian army, you can also help with the employment of Ukrainian designers who have left the country. If you have any ideas how to do that, we will gladly share those ideas in our social networks.

Contact and hire Sivak+Partners: mail@sivak-partners.com

Recruit and hire displaced Ukrainian creatives here: www.hireforukraine.org

Daily 11 in Odessa, designed by Sivak+Partners

Daily 11 in Odessa, designed by Sivak+Partners

Daily 11 in Odessa, designed by Sivak+Partners

Daily 11 in Odessa, designed by Sivak+Partners

Alex: What does the future look like to you right now, and is there anything else you want people in the US to know?

We hope that this nightmare will be over soon and we as the Ukrainian design community can begin to rebuild our country together.

There is a real war in Ukraine right now. Cruel and devastating. Russian army is bombing houses, schools, kindergartens and maternity homes. They kill civilians and children, they violate silent regime and prevent humanitarian convoys from evacuating civilians from completely damaged cities… Ukrainian army is successfully fighting the enemy on land, but Russian air rockets are damaging the infrastructure of our cities and killing innocent people. The whole world is asking NATO to close the sky above Ukraine. And you can join. You can demand this from your government and help us save innocent lives.

With over 2 million Ukrainians seeking refuge and the crisis continuing to worsen, there is a huge need for care and supplies. We will be contributing to a pool of Ukraine direct-aid organizations as identified by B Corporation Europe in their online guide here.

Maksym Iuriichuk


Co-owner and Chief Designer for Sivak+Partners, a design and architecture firm based in Kyiv and Odessa.

Recruit and hire displaced Ukrainian creatives

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