Founded in 2011, AKMD developed out of a thirteen-year friendship and informal 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 to study traditional craft. 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 traditional craft practices and how these could inform contemporary design.