Furniture Making for
Aspiring Entrepreneurs

A 15 week intensive professional design and making course in Abu Dhabi
October 2021 to February 2022


Deadline for application Tuesday, September 21, 2021



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Makerspace Al Zeina in collaboration with the American University of Sharjah invites all aspiring furniture designers in the region and internationally to take part in this unique professional programme, in Abu Dhabi this Autumn.

The Athath Fellowship is a 15 week intensive professional design and making course for aspiring entrepreneurs, delivered in a three-phase programme resulting in a furniture prototype.

The programme is open to all those with a creative body of work, not limited to furniture or ‘construction’ art forms.

Programme starts on October 23, 2021 and concludes on February 19, 2022

A 15 week taught course with unlimited access to Makerspace Al Zeina

AED 9,950


Makerspace Al Zeina - Abu Dhabi

Places on the Athath Fellowship are limited. To find out more about the participants we’re looking for, please read carefully the selection criteria here

Fellowship Certificate will be awarded

Key Outcomes of this Programme

Participants in the Athath Fellowship will gain the following:

Have designed and developed a key furniture piece for market

Technical digital and manual skills. In addition to fabrication technology and techniques for production/ manufacturing/ assembly

Learn how to design products for manufacturing/retail

Knowledge about materials sourcing and engaging with suppliers and manufacturers    

Skills in business and entrepreneurship: how to grow a product into a business and reach a market

A committed community of makers and creative  network through the Fellowship

Director of Studies


Ammar Kalo

The Director of Studies is Award Winning international Furniture Designer and Architect Ammar Kalo, with guest lectures from critically acclaimed international brands and product designers.

Ammar Kalo is a designer, researcher, and educator based in the UAE. His work interrogates the relationship between digital technology and traditional craft and has received multiple international and local awards, including the ‘Emerging Designer’ award from Harper's Bazaar Interiors.

Ammar is an Associate Professor and the Director of Labs at the College of Architecture Art and Design, American University of Sharjah. His research and teaching focuses on robotic fabrication, furniture design, and design-build courses. Learn more


International Design Brand est. 1872

Guest lectures will be delivered by luxury Danish Design House and a pioneer in modern furniture design. Fritz Hansen

  • Christian Andresen, Brand Ambassador and Head of Design for Fritz Hansen will guest lecture on the programme

  • Guest lectures from other departments within the brand

  • An award will be available, provided by Fritz Hansen


Application Process

To enrol in the Athath Fellowship we advise you to consider the following selection criteria before applying as places are limited. You will need:

  • To demonstrate a good level of creative skills (design, conceptual thinking, portfolio, theoretical)

  • Basic drawing, sketching, CAD 2D/3D skills are favourable

  • Some relevant studies and/or experience in this area is desired

  • Basic soft skills including communication, presentational skills, logical and analytical abilities

  • Ability to attend all seminar and studio sessions in Abu Dhabi as per course schedule

  • Ability to meet programme costs

  • Must be over 18 years old

To apply, please follow the steps in the application page here

Important dates:

  • Deadlines for application is September 21, 2021 closing at midnight GST

  • Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview in the week of September 26, 2021

  • Successful applicants will be notified by October 1, 2021

Upon acceptance, tuition fees should be paid in full before programme start date on October 23, 2021


The programme will take place in Makerspace
Al Zeina, Abu Dhabi, UAE


This is an intensive and hands-on programme, the majority of the course will require full in person attendance and a high level of commitment from participants. A percentage of the theoretical modules will be delivered online.

The programme is taught in English.

Programme starts on October 23, 2021 and concludes on February 19, 2022 with an exhibition at the end of the programme. (2 weeks break between December 20, 2021 and January 5, 2022)

Programme total cost is AED 9,950

Application Requirements



The Athath Fellowship is one of the excellent initiatives from Makerspace Al Zeina that aims to inject new design business talent into the global industry of furniture design and manufacturing.

Dr Pradeep Sharma

Director of Arts, Culture and Heritage

Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation

Do you need help or additional information?

The Athath Fellowship is

Delivered by

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Makerspace Al Zeina is the perfect place to build almost anything, where the only limit is your imagination. A playground for creativity, the Makerspace is an open-access DIY workshop and fabrication studio and a community-based space where makers, entrepreneurs, creators, innovators, artists, students and educators come together to learn and work.

Learn more


American University of Sharjah (AUS) was founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi. It has come to represent the very best in teaching and research, accredited internationally and recognized by employers the world over for creating graduates equipped with the knowledge, skills and drive to lead in the 21st century.

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Supported by

The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation’s mission is “to invest in the future of the United Arab Emirates by investing in its people.” To that end, it develops and supports strategic initiatives in the areas of Art, Culture and Heritage; Early Childhood Development; and Health. Established in 2010, the SHF is the family foundation of Her Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan.

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Copenhagen design house Fritz Hansen is recognised as one of the pioneers in modern furniture design and the ‘scandi aesthetic’. Established in 1872, the brand collaborates with acclaimed designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner and Verner Panton, continuing the philosophy that ‘a single piece of furniture can beautify an entire room or building’.

Learn more