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Furniture Making for
Aspiring Entrepreneurs

A 16 week intensive professional design and making course in Abu Dhabi

2024 applications will be open soon


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MAKE 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 16 week intensive professional design and making course for aspiring entrepreneurs, delivered in a three-phase programme resulting in a commercially viable and made in multiples furniture piece.

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

Dates for 2024 will be announced soon.

A 16 week taught course with unlimited access to the fabrication workshop. 

Programme cost is 9,950 AED inclusive of VAT. Supplemental prototyping material will be provided to Fellows during the course.


MAKE’s facility in Port Zayed, 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

Fellows will receive a certificate of completion issued jointly by American University Sharjah and MAKE.

Download Programme

Key Outcomes of this Programme

Participants in the Athath Fellowship will:

Acquire skills in business strategies and entrepreneurship, learning to growing a product into a viable business and reach a desired market.

Join a committed creative network and community of makers through the Fellowship.

Develop, design, and fabricate a key furniture piece that is commercially viable.

Gain technical, digital and analog skills for production, manufacturing and, assembly.

Learn how to design products for manufacturing and retail.

Acquire knowledge in material sourcing and engaging with local suppliers and fabricators.

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

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Business Strategy Mentor
Kiran Sajwani

Kiran Sajwani is a senior design strategist and researcher, focusing on design-led innovation for strategy, services, and experiences.


She merges design methodology with business strategy to help clients explore creative challenges, build design capabilities, and reimagine user experiences. She has served as a consultant for clients in various industries, including government, transportation, education, sports, and hospitality, advising senior leadership on strategic innovation and digital transformation projects.


Kiran has an MBA in Strategy and Innovation from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Science in Business from Champlain College. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the College of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah. Learn more

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Appl. Requ.

Application Requirements

To enroll 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.

  • Must be over 18 years old.


Deadline for application will be announced soon.


Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview.


Successful applicants will be notified soon.

Application Process

After completing the application form:

Please send in an e-mail to, titled:


YOUR NAME in two parts / ATHATH Documents

Please insure to include the following required documents:

  • Recent personal photograph (format JPEG and PDF only, maximum files size is 2 MB).

  • Portfolio that demonstrates some of your best work samples to support your application to this programme. You can include photos, images, sketches and descriptive text to give us an impression of relevant projects or studies. Compile it all in a single PDF file, that includes a maximum of 10 pages and is at most 10 MB of size.


Make sure you use an e-mail ID that you always check and ensure that is a trusted address.

If in doubt, reach us at:

+971 56 3984492

Experience a hands-on and immersive learning journey where you'll actively participate and grow. While most of the course takes place in person, we've incorporated online modules to enhance your theoretical knowledge.

The programme will take place in MAKE, Port Zayed, Abu Dhabi, UAE


The Athath Fellowship is one of the excellent initiatives from MAKE 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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MAKE is part workshop, part lab, part studio and part garage. Our wide range of professional-grade machinery, tools and software include 2D and 3D design software, laser-cutters, large-format printers, wood and metal-working equipment, milling and fabricating machines, and more. 

We welcome makers of all ages and capabilities, from absolute beginners to professional designers.

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.

Learn more

The Athath Fellowship is 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.

Learn more



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

* Supporters of classes 2021 and 2022

* Supported classes o

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