New OhTwo™ Chair and Table range ready to conquer the world!

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The difficult second chair.

New oH!Two™ Chair from RAW

Chairs are notoriously difficult to design. Especially after the success of our first chair, the second one seems to will one to fail, but after two years in concept form and three months of prototyping and development, Raw Studios is proud to announce that the first production run on our newest chair and table range is well underway. Clients can look forward to a whole lot of fun, and yes, some serious work from these quirky newcomers.

New oH!Two™ Chair from RAW

Says Peet regarding the look and feel of the range “I tried to create something that triggers an emotional response with people when they see it for the first time. You know that pleasant feeling that this is a shape or form you recognize from your childhood, from a varsity cafeteria or some such place where hardworking furniture does its thing without a big fuss.”

The low fuss factor is only skin deep though as this range includes a bunch of innovations and improvements, on our previous range of chairs. These include a laser cut and precision CNC bent steel component and although we are not completely new to using steel to solve some of the more industrially strong requirements of workplace and retail environments, we feel that the way in which it was utilized, to solve several of the usual construction and rigidity issues associated with chairs all in one clever little component has, for us at least, opened up a whole lot of options for future design solutions.

 a laser cut and precision CNC bent steel component

Seat and back shape development

Consequent to the use of a steel component we have been able to bring the amount of plywood used down to a ridiculous minimum, so much so that we now cut enough parts for 12 chairs from a standard sheet of birch plywood. This did come with a slight payoff in the form of two of the parts having to have to be cut on at least a five axis machine into a 3 dimensional part. Enter the latest young lady to grace our workshop floor, and no, our tea-lady doesn’t cut our parts with a jigsaw in between tea breaks. Her name is KUKA and she is a little easier to talk to than our previous, slightly ancient, robot arm and the perfect compliment to our new “can do anything” prototyping environment.

New oH!Two™ Table and Chair from RAW

New oH!Two™ Table from RAWSo, combine some simple plywood parts, precision steel bits in several colour options, locally manufactured bent plywood seat and back also available in many different materials, put a lot of design soul and a little bit of nostalgia into the mix and you get something really special judging from the overwhelmingly positive responses we have had during preview sessions with our most valued project clients. Best of all the product can ship completely flat packed. For the first time we have been able to achieve this so completely. Once the range has won local hearts and minds, the next step will be global domination.

First we take Gauteng, then the world! (Insert evil laugh here).

New oH!Two™ Table from RAW

See OhTwo™ products…

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.

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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.