Founded in 2011, AKMD developed out of a thirteen-year friendship and design collaboration between Ayush Kasliwal and Mike Dreeben.
The two met in Jaipur, India in 1998: Dreeben had recently completed an MFA in sculpture at the University of Chicago and was working on a Fulbright grant, studying vernacular woodworking; Kasliwal had just completed study at the prestigious National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, with a degree in furniture design. What they found was a mutual interest in fine craft practices and how these could inform contemporary design. This has become a driving concept behind the AKMD collection.
Both Kasliwal and Dreeben are makers and their design approach begins with a deep understanding of the inherent characteristics of material and of production method — allowing process to drive design, rather than the other way around. Their work is pragmatic and honest: the materials are presented straightforwardly, as are the mechanical connections that bind the pieces together. Their furniture is notably free of veneer and plastics, that don’t provide the kind durability that one can expect from solid wood, cast metal, or saddle leather And although everything they offer is meticulously crafted, their pieces are comfortable and unfussy — pieces that you can live with, that will respond positively to use and age by developing a patina that reflects their history in one’s home.