10 solid reasons why we can make a real difference to your next project.

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Raw Studios Worklife Office
Great workspace does not just happen.

Ready to start transforming your (clients) workspace: this is how we can help.
Raw Studios Spyne System Worklife Designer office furniture

Here are 10 solid reasons why we can make a real difference to your next project.

1. We’re more affordable than you think.

Seriously, we hear this from people all the time; “we though this quality and real design was going to come at a way higher price point” or “when we compared your offering with like products we were pleasantly surprised at the value”.

We argue that that is what real modular systems design is supposed to do: make great stuff more affordable, have a wider impact and ultimately help people out.

2. We actually care about your health and wellbeing.

Are you sick of smelling the melamine gasses coming off your office furniture? Well you have another choice, you know?

The engineered materials (solid birch plywood) that we employ in our ranges are natural and conform to the highest Northern European standards for health and sustainability. If you would like to know more about how green we really are, please download this short fact sheet.

3. We don’t just talk the talk, we innovate, we don’t just combine, we design.

So many workplace design companies talk the talk of collaboration, productivity, team activation, employee happiness and engagement, just to turn around and offer the same old rows and rows of table with pedestal combos and maybe some upholstered pod like structures… wow!

We actually take the time to consider where workspace and worklife is heading and to design solutions to the challenges posed by the changing landscape of work.

We consider how “super teams” now operate and what they need and how furniture should not get in the way of great collaboration and creativity, how often mobile workers have become, and how their needs have changed, but also that there is still a large group of employees that simply spend half their lives at the office and deserve to feel comfortable and assisted.

Raw Studios office range solution

4. We actually give a damn about the environment.

Raw is as green as we can make it, not perfect, but always improving. If you would like to know more about how green we really are, please download this short fact sheet.

5. We touch your site lightly.

Our systems are modular, flexible, and for the most part free standing. We don’t make dust or any other mess when we install and actually prefer to install just before the client takes occupation. No mess, no fuss.

6. Our lead times are way shorter that most imports or bespoke solutions.

Our standard lead-time is 3-5 weeks and we haven’t been late, ever! Many imported or bespoke solution can take three times as long to realize.

Raw Studios Blimp Worklife designer office furniture
7. We are agile, flexible and resourceful.

We are makers that are driven by a passion to make better experiences. We have our own prototyping facility where we can fast-track development on specific requests, and on larger projects we can design special apps and solutions. Please see our Customerization blog here.

8. We’re in it for the long solution, (modularity and longevity). Our products last longer.

We don’t buy into the throw away culture of “produce cheap and chuck away after three-five years”. We design and produce modular systems that can be re-configured and serviced from quality solid birch Finnish plywood.

9. We are authentic, with our own design language; we are a great alternative to the generic (yawn) products out there and as a challenger company, we try harder.

Yes, we are now often up against the big boys in the industry and because we offer something different to the generic office (you know it… Steel frame and melamine top… realy long yaaawn! ) We have caught the attentions of producers and corporates alike. Clients are not satisfied with the “usual” look, feel and function any longer.

10. We’re 100% local.

Local content is trending and for good reason… it’s damn lekker and sustainable. More often than not projects call for high local content and you don’t get more local than RAW. To see us at work on our beautiful hill, please see this short video:

The future is now! And we are part of it.

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On the 14th July Baker Baynes hosted the first part of our three-part series on architecture. The theme of the evening was Software & Design: Does it Help or Hinder?

The Raw Studios team was invited as guest speakers and Baker Baynes BIM specialist, Jani Bester, had this to report back:

RAW studios presented to an audience of mostly architects and interior designers and challenged many to rethink the way fabrication and joinery is done in the architecture and built environment. With the Blimp they demonstrated how their principles and philosophy’s can be adopted in various different industries. Robots are gaining traction when it comes to the highly precise construction of geometrically complex assemblies. Architects and designers can now use machines to create larger, permanent structures plus with advancements in robotic technologies (like the gesture controlled robot) designers can have fun with their tools again. The RAW studios team showed how technology plays a critical role in design and manufacturing. They have adopted new ways of designing and creating and the result is beautiful.

For more on this event and future plans please read the full write up here:

Baker Baynes architectural design series part 1
On Thursday, 14 July Baker Baynes hosted the first part of our three-part series on architecture. The theme of the evening was Software & Design: Does it Help or Hinder? Many enthusiastic professionals came along to find out more about Autodesk software and share their industry experience. Richard Smedley-Williams, Baker Baynes managing director, kicked off …

A look at what’s going on in the design industry
Peet van Straaten and Thys Kotze from RAW Studios showed how industry professionals are using CAD software. This product design and supply company specialises in design, protyping and production of high quality furniture. The RAW team demonstrated how they make modular plywood furniture systems by using CNC machining processes … (more)

Making Love In The Workshop… For The Love Of Making.

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Raw Studios office furniture workshop

Making Love In The Workshop… For The Love Of Making.

Its not only eager hands caressing curvaceous forms, surfaces coated in glistening spray and slow rhythmic massage like (sanding) movements that shows how much we love making things.

The love of making is both a serious and a fun thing at Raw and we have been balancing these two states for 10 years now and learnt a lot in the process. Yes, it’s now a well oiled (pun intended) combination of people and machines that bring our systems to life, but in the end its really the people with their unique character and approach to innovation and problem solving that keeps our environment and works fresh and interesting.

Making homegrown solutions (a technical fix) (clamp) - Raw Studios office furniture workshop

Making homegrown solutions (a technical fix) (clamp)

Recently, one of the quick clamps’ plastic handles broke, as plastic sometimes does, Sydney simply followed the culture set down by Thys and I that promotes making use of local solutions. From birch plywood he fashioned a quite intricate new handle using small power and hand tools, and as long as the replacement part isn’t forced excessively (as the makeshift instructions bids the user) it should last fro a long time. I thought that was pretty nifty.

Raw Studios office furniture workshop innovation

Making new connections between old ideas.

That is essentially what creativity is… making new connections where there previously there were none, and that’s exactly what Albert did when he needed an extra chair in the workshop. Only he went a step further and fashioned a chair by using existing chair parts but assembling them in a different way. Sure its not going to win a beauty contest and its also not that comfy, but a brand new connection was made and that will encourage others to follow suit.

Raw Studios office furniture workshop cnc plywood cut

Making the cut, perfectly. The CNC shop “eyes on the cut”

For two years now we have been doing our own CNC cutting in a shop set up for that purpose after outsourcing this function for many years. Painos, with no experience and no formal training stepped up to the plate and took to operating CNC machines like a fish to water. He still rules this domain, ever vigilant for mistakes or issues and forever with his eyes fixed to the cut.

Raw Studios office furniture workshop jobcard - deadlines and projects

Making good on promises (deadlines and projects)

Job cards are issued and deadlines are discussed. Clients are called by their names and their hopes and wishes are noted. Deadlines are a serious business and the guys in the workshop take great pride in finishing a project and getting it out to the client before (cause we hate stress) the deadline.

We love what we do, we love to make.

Raw Studios office furniture workshop tools

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

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: http://bit.ly/1PBiWO2

Nandos and Raw in hot, hot, hot Combo.

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UPDATE: See the project video footage.

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