Time to live differently. Our 5 ways to design to a different tune.

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Companies and designers have to keep challenging their designs to remain contemporary: a challenge that requires alternative approaches and thinking.

With some insight into what RAW is up to, here are our top 5 ways to get in tune with ‘different’:

1. Have an opposite day.

Used to tackling your design process in a specific way? Say, at a desk with all your stationery or on the floor with papers scattered around you? Get your inspiration flowing in other ways, avoid your comforts.

Go outside and document your design inspiration in a different way. Always drawing? Take photos. Used to photos? Get drawing. Make, paint, write, ask outsiders their views, build models. Different perspectives get the wheels turning, allow yourself to question and challenge your thoughts.Raw Studios furniture design inspiration desk

2. Think outside the box, or daringly embrace the box and its restrictions.

So your design language is unique to your brand only, and clients or customers know you for that specific style. That’s great, keep your niche but try to surprise your market with unexpected material, form or function. Find areas to explore that will still embrace your iconic style.

RAW is known for modular systems that address quality, function and user health. Proving its viability and efficiency in the industry, our solutions have been specked by local firms on large scale projects. So why stop there? That’s why we’re introducing two new ranges exploring new functionality and minimal fixing techniques that will inform previously unexplored applications.

Raw Studios Raw_Life Mood Container Raw_Life definition: A minimal, stripped down, unprocessed and undisguised yet passionate, and powerful way of life… Informed by modular design systems that further growth, assists in functional activity and offsets the negative effects of continual change.

3. Good not perfect.

Allow yourself to stop designing. Distance gives healthy breaks. Designers always want to send out a perfect end product. This can result in over designing something that was good or maybe even better in earlier attempts.

One often receives constructive feedback and can design even better after letting the first prototype go through preliminary client or customer interaction. With our latest venture, we will be doing just that, giving the public a chance to live RAW.

4. Live on the user’s side for a while.

Get to know the design’s life after it left the controlled production environment. Understand your solution from all angles. This will help inform your design process in future projects and give you a whole new perspective. Many of the products RAW offers, are used in our own office. By doing that we can easily consider the practicalities and how user-friendly a product is.

5. Travel.

We’re not saying buy the most expensive plane ticket to the furthest place from home. We’re saying find inspiration in local territory, find destinations where you can experience, learn or see new aspects of your homeland. Find it in nature, city movements, stories, patterns or cultural festivities. Some of the smallest experiences and sights can give the biggest light bulb moments.Raw Studios design inspiration SA Travel map

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.

Confessions of our latest RAW member.

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Raw Studios new member BianceThis Visi magazine featured designer reveals her 4 funniest experiences being new to furniture design and RAW.

1. Avoid stereotypes.

On my first visit, I expected a grimy old chaotic workshop full of mounds of saw dust , furniture parts scattered everywhere and sad fluorescent lights flickering overhead. To my surprise Raw Studios was the complete opposite. I kept hearing booming music, (must be from a nearby party, I thought. Nope.) It was from the workshop, an organised, clean and inviting one at that. The employees play music of their choice while they get on with their work seamlessly.Raw Studios workshop music employees

2. Leave summer styles behind.

First few weeks of work is stressful for any newcomer on a job, every decision is made with some mental debate first (making every decision take 3 times longer). Little did I know it would start at my feet. One morning I was calmly told to sit down (my head was racing at the time, what line did I overstep??) and told… my shoe choice wasn’t appropriate. My little sandals weren’t a match for the fast-moving workshop conditions and the existence of toes aren’t to be taken for granted. Hard tip shoes it will be from now on.Raw Studios workshop hard tip shoes sandals

3. Tools are friends not foes.

Working with machines, tools and saws, has never fallen into one of my comfort zones, yet my interest is piqued more now than ever before. So, when a nail gun is held out to me to do the next row, my first assumption is I should just hold the gun until its asked for again. Well that thought was a mistake, especially when I was expected to finish the rest of the task. P.S. Note to self: don’t get a fright every time a nail is shot into the workpiece.Raw Studios workshop power tools

4. A new language needs to be learned.

When new products are designed, or made, things move fast. A sentence barely needs to be finished before the other one understands what needs to be done.

Peet “So we move the part here..”
Thys: “Yes, okay.”
Peet: “Actually, do you know what will be even better? …”
Thys: “Yes, I’ll change that now”

All the while I’m thinking: Wait.. What? What’s being changed? Where did the last paragraph of this conversation go? Some telepathic communication is underway here.