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

Leave a comment

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:

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

Leave a comment

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

UP Students Rock the Raw once again: 2015

1 Comment


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.

Plywood radios on a mission

Leave a comment

Raw designed and produced plywood-clad radios used as promotional items for ICR, a pirate radio station in Joburg central. At a recent ICR event in Melville these sweet little radios were all the rage as fans clamoured to get their paws on the object. Marketing brainchild of Joao Orecchia, one of the founding members of ICR, the radios were conceived to promote ICR and their mission:

“ICR or Invisible Cities Pirate Radio is an alternative to mainstream radio in Johannesburg. It is a place for artists and experiments. A place to talk about our city”

“At once super-local and super-international, ICR reaches all of the Johannesburg city centre, Newtown and Braamfontein via the airwaves on 102.2 fm, and the rest of the world via live stream.”