The countdown has started… The world is coming to Africa.

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Future Africa Institute Artist Sketch RAW

Imagine an existing space where human, space and object are intertwined, where interaction is a core aspect of creating synergy between humans and their environment.

Future Africa Institute site construction

Well, stop imagining because this concept is already in the making at the Future Africa Institute, a campus for international students aimed at creating a holistic and interactive environment. Earthworld Architects’design addresses the often disconnectedness formed in the built environment by making the user an integral part of the context. The design is human centred, and creates a sense of belonging for the user.

Africa Instute Construction RAW collaboration

Where does RAW fit into the picture you ask?

Earthworld Architects and the University of Pretoria, brought us on board to apply our unique furniture design to the new thinking that Future Africa Institute encompasses.

With such an exciting project, we didn’t hesitate to take on the challenge.

Staying true to modular systems, we’re approaching this range from a different perspective, and giving a fresh take on everyday furniture and spaces While pushing our core design ideas of considered simplicity, efficiency in production  and of course…….lovability. The range will be easy to assemble, install and move as it uses minimum permanent fixing.

RAW is ready to go all out with this range and explore all the possibilities on offer.  Stay tuned for details early 2017. In the meantime, here are a few snapshots of what we’ve been up to for this project:

RAW Studios plywood furniture systems wall mounted - Africa Institute Construction RAW Studios plywood furniture systems Africa Instute ConstructionRAW Studios plywood furniture systems living space storage cupboard -

Jo’burg’s who’s who.

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Ditulo Office Furniture Engineers is a Johannesburg-based company making waves within the office design market. Providing a niche service for clients and suppliers, Ditulo embraces quality and promotes holistic and collaborative approaches to workplace design.Raw Studios Isla Ditulo Office Furniture EngineersThe name behind the company’s success is Isla Galloway-Gaul. A woman of integrity with smart business sense and a down- to- earth personality. Isla’s invested time in Ditulo made the company’s turnover increase by more than a 100 percent in 2015.

This year Isla and her team, celebrated the company’s growth, by inviting all the big names and showcasing the incredible products and brands Ditulo is in collaboration with. Along with high-end brands Humanscale, Bene and Okamura, RAW received some prime showroom space to showcase our now widely used Epik office system.

Our Epik range stood loud and proud in the centre of the event, complemented by the Blimp, our larger- than- life collaboration pod that sparked many a conversation about where office space and workplace design is moving towards. Our Laptop StandUp’s also caused a stir when attendees tried to assemble the parts on the fly.Collage Ditulo Office Furniture Engineers DesignersWe are privileged to be able to partner with a company that believes in changing the office environment to one that is more considered, inclusive and comfortable.

Customerization now trending at Raw.

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Since we started focusing on designing modular furniture systems instead of merely objects, customization was forced to take a back seat to versatility and affordability but we do believe we have now found a healthy balance.

Within well-considered systems we believe we can provide a multitude of designed solutions that have a wider uptake and greater impact, with a higher end look and feel, but still at an affordable price.RAW Studios Customerization surfaces Ohtwo chairThat said, systems are inevitably pretty generic by nature and as we start working on bigger and bigger projects (100+ workstations) for larger organizations we recognized the need, and the fun really, of what we are now calling Customerization. Customerization is the one on one interaction we now encourage with organizations that want to add something of their own to our various office applications.RAW Studios Customerization Office Range Workspace Storage Co-space StorageWe recently completed a Mockup for a very large and well-known scientific research organization where we, in collaboration with Design Team Fabrics and In Awe Interiors, customerized in the following ways:

Vertical surfaces, such as doors and drawer fronts have customerization options that range from vent design and handle options to colouring and branding. In addition to this our available machining options, milling and laser engraving allows us to brand certain surfaces in a very cost effective way.RAW Studios Customerization office furniture doors drawer lockers frontsAdding Colour works great in many ways from assisting with way finding to defining departmental identities or simply livening up a space. We add colour in the form of specially formulated wood stains for vertical surfaces and high pressure laminates for seating or other horizontal work surfaces.RAW Studios Customerization Din+ Range Furniture tables chairsUpholstery of certain office elements can have a wonderful effect on the look and feel especially if those have been colour coordinated for the organization or project as we had done for this mockup in conjunction with the amazing people at Design Team.RAW Studios Customerization Co-space Office Furniture Upholstery PodThese are just a few ways in which we create a unique look and feel for organizations on project basis. We have had such good feedback that we have decided to showcase this offering at Inspire B@B Trade Show on the 1 – 3 June 2016, stand CON10 . Please join us there to discuss your next great project.

See us at Inspire Trade Expo 1 - 3 June 2016

See our video of the mockup:

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

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.

Workshop_UP_RAW_05

 

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.