The BLIMP has landed.

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100% Design South Africa took place last weekend, at Gallagher Convention Centre, where local and international exhibitors showcased their innovative products and solutions to both the trade and public.

100%Design Expo

Raw Studios’ eye-catching 3m high Co-space, created more than ample interest. It enticed interesting, fresh and, sometimes down-right bizarre visitor engagement. The visually inspiring, Co-space with colourful splashes of thought-provoking elements, was designed and produced on-site, at their Pretoria studio workshop.

Raw Studios’ proud team of experts pushed digital fabrication boundaries, creating a next-generation solution for the modern work life. It was made using CNC technology and environmentally responsible materials.

Peet van Straaten, owner of Raw Studios, commented, that the concept of the Co-space was to activate a transitional, open space, encouraging interaction and conversation. “We wanted to emphasise that the nature of work, as well as its environment, is changing and that employees will ultimately be the force driving the revolution towards more flexibility and responsiveness.”

Openplan layout with no work-life balance was part of the old rules. Employees no longer work solely at their workstations, but rather also at home, on the move, as well as in other spaces within the office environment itself. New rules require that employees have more flexibility and interconnectedness. There is an evident need for  different types of spaces for the different types of vocations. Considered and connected employees become brand ambassadors and will be the greatest of assets if cared for and recognised by employers. These new rules in the work life environment were explored at Raw’s Co-space stand for all to observe and absorb.

The message was clear. Raw Studios provides flexible, collaborative, workspace and Co-space solutions for the modern, digitally evolving business of tomorrow.

Click here to read our previous blog about worklife.


Spoiler alert…now for the good stuff. Get your popcorn ready.



The BLIMP is on the move

Raw Studios has decided that this is only the beginning for The BLIMP. Yes every BoxOffice-hit should have a star, followed by a roadshow of course.

Peet adds: “What started out as a raw concept, a way to invite the spectator into our world, is evolving into something with a lot of possibility and potential.”

It’s official. The BLIMP has arrived in the Built Environment Centre (BEC) on Fox street, in the Maboneng Precinct, and will be residing there for a few weeks, before moving to the next exciting environment, the idea being to travel all around Gauteng!

Blimp BEC

Raw Studios recently provided the BEC with office- and meeting-room furniture, as well as Hot-desking items -all tuned to motivating collaboration and connection in the ever-evolving worklife of tomorrow. This is the opportune platform to introduce these new product ranges, as well as a space in which to engage with fellow industry partners.

Victoria Stephens, Executive Manager of GIfA says:  “GIfA partnered with Legrand Concept Store to move into 274 Fox street, Maboneng in May 2015, to open the BEC. The purpose of this initiative is to promote the built environment and create awareness of architecture, whilst serving our members’ interests. The BEC aims to provide post-graduates, graduates and industry professionals with the resources needed to trade and effectively operate their businesses. The Built Environment enables them to network and collaborate as well as providing industry expertise, meeting facilities, equipment and advisory services.”

This is a Raw Studios’ call-out to all those industry junkies, designers, forward-thinking business folk, executives and inspired students, to come and engage at the BLIMP.

The official opening of the BEC will be announced soon. Naturally you are invited and who knows, maybe we’ll even throw in a VIP ticket, just because that’s how we roll.

Until next time. Raw getting real.

#blimp #nextstep #rawstudios #worklife #pretoria #co-space #digitaloffice

Information about GIfA and the BEC:

Nandos and Raw in hot, hot, hot Combo.

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When the South African success story, Nandos, decided to revamp its spiritual home in Lorentzville Johannesburg, where it started trading over two decades ago, it was bound to be anything but a
run-of-the-mill project.

Nandos Central kitchen project / home in Lorentzville Johannesburg

The brief was a collaboration with industry veteran, Tracy Lynch, who curated the relationship between Nandos and exceptional South African designer/makers. Rather than a design showcase, it focused on creating a hard-working space for a large workforce, they themselves articulating a unique and authentic ZAesthetic, true to the feisty Nandos’ spirit.

Nandos home in Lorentzville Johannesburg

There followed an exceptional year of conceptualising, liaising, communicating, collaborating, producing and delivering. This culminated, near the end of 2014, in the launch of Central Kitchen, an expansive, interconnected campus of seven buildings.

Nandos home in Lorentzville Johannesburg

Originally approached to supply the, now famous, Ikonik and Klik system products, Raw Studios presented a mock-up of the Offis™ system. The clients were won over by the superior combination of quality, ruggedness, real design, and the honest price tag; and so, the contract for the complete office workstation and storage solution was awarded to Raw – a contract second in value only to that of the main contractor.

Nandos home in Lorentzville Johannesburg

In addition to the main office furniture component, Raw studios, amongst others, also supplied chairs, discussion- and training-tables.

Additional orders have been rolling in since the end of the project. On top of this, Raw have now also been included in the prestigious Nandos’ Design Collection, one of only five companies nationwide. This further strengthens an already inspiring and powerful relationship between the two companies. See our next blog > new chair.

The Central kitchen project will undoubtedly be appreciated as an historical and pivotal South African creative collaboration and Raw Studios is proud to have had a significant role to play.

Nandos Central kitchen project

UP Students Rock the Raw once again: 2015

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In mid-July, Raw Studios hosted a week long collaborative workshop with twelve students from the University of Pretoria. The brief focused on the design solutions for the typology, “Micro-housing”, using Raw Studio’s signature technology: CNC cutting and jointing of birch plywood into designed ergonomic systems.

CNC Cutting

The goal of the workshop is to expose young designers to the practice of prototyping and hands-on engagement, guided by pioneers in the field It is Raw’s intention to expand this approach to include professional architects and designers alike, encouraging prototype-making as an innovative form of the design process.

CNC. Encouraging prototype-making as an innovative form of the design process

The students of the interior design and architecture programmes worked in groups under guidance from Peet van Straaten (Raw), Thys Kotze (Raw) and Bafana Mazibuko (Raw), European micro-living designers, the Mobiators, Geert Hutsebaut and Calanne Moroney, and University of Pretoria lecturers, Elana Van der Watt and Johan Swart. Students participated in the workshop voluntarily, resulting in a cross-sectional group of dedicated and determined individuals. They spent three weekdays in the studio, with the rest of the time at the workshop in Boschkop, camping a couple of nights on site.

Practice of prototyping and hands-on engagement

The workshop briefing day consisted of a series of inspiring, informative talks, from Raw Studios and from the Mobiators. Raw presented an outline of the studio’s work, the mind-set of designing for flexibility, CNC technology, material, optimised detailing, followed by a surprisingly enthralling demonstration of CNC cutting.

Raw presented an outline of the studio's work, the mind-set of designing for flexibility, CNC technology, material, optimised detailing, followed by a surprisingly enthralling demonstration of CNC cutting

The Mobiators spoke of their own micro-house experiences in the Netherlands, and the growing societal awareness and need for de-cluttering, downsizing and self-sufficiency. They gave insight into the lifestyle it offered, the benefits of living “micro” and the shortcomings they experienced and predicted.

A storage floor system for a three-sectioned table

In three groups of four, the students devised an approach to the interior of a micro-house, and a proposed solution to investigate. Over the course of the week, they worked towards a tangible detail/section of the proposal. This resulted in three diverse pieces of research – a storage floor system for a three-sectioned table, a single bed/double bed storage solution, and a free-standing multiple configuration piece. All three proposals dealt with storage, flexibility and maximising small spaces by layering and interlocking of functions. By the end of the week, all three groups had produced drawings, maquettes using cardboard or laser-cut 4mm plywood and fabricated sections of their proposal using the CNC cutter.



The work produced was impressive given the time and stimulated many intriguing discussions on the science of micro-living, realistic design solutions and lifestyle choices. It will be presented in the gallery at the Boukunde (architecture) department in September.

While the workshop was undoubtedly a valuable experience for the students involved, it was equally stimulating for Peet van Straaten and his micro-living enthusiasts from Europe, currently staying in Boschkop to collaborate on the development of a Raw micro-house product. The week provided much food for thought and instigated the launch of an interesting design process, as well as a new, scaled-up direction for Raw Studios.

They spent three weekdays in the studio, with the rest of the time at the workshop in Boschkop, camping a couple of nights on site.

Learn how to collaborate with us (part 1).

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First in the series of Raw Studios ”How To” docs.

We often get asked the following question: How can we contact you and make use of your expertise and capabilities on our projects?

The contact part is the easy bit, but its the interaction (with Raw and other service providers) and the process stages followed before and during the project that is daunting to most clients. They have questions and concerns that makes them hesitate in the process and unsure of the outcome.

With this blog and a couple more over the coming newsletters, I would like to explain these steps, and also shed some light on what exactly we would expect from you and what you can expect form us.

The Structure will be loosely based on the Design Council’s Double Diamond model, with additional supporting strategies from other models.

For a start let look at the four big stages and briefly what each stage entail.

The four big stages model

Stage 1: Discovery (initiation). “1st quarter”
Although not necessarily the start of the project, this is the stage where you as the client gets your ideas and inspiration. In some instances we are not even involved yet.

Stage 2: Define. “2nd quarter”
In the definition stage you will clarify your concepts and identify your objectives and goals for the project. This is where you define the project brief.

Stage 3: Develop. “3rd quarter”
The development stage can also be called the problem solving stage. If you need expert advice from other disciplines, this is the last stage where such experts can be brought in. Its here where all the ironing out of problems and refining of aesthetics happen.

Stage 4: Delivery. “4th quarter”
Here we will have the project or product ready for final approval, and scheduled to be launched. If it is a site-based project, this is where we will go on to site for installation.

Next time we will be focusing on the initial idea and conceptualization of that idea.

How green are Raw Studios products really?

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We pride ourselves on being an environmentally responsible company and this is evident in our approach to design, raw materials procurement and manufacturing processes. However, since the Green Building Council South African does not test, review or certify products or materials, we have decided to compile a fact sheet to help prospective users to ascertain for themselves our commitment to sustainable business practices.

Read the fact sheet here.