It’s been no secret that we have been working with the University of Pretoria on various projects over the past years. What you maybe do not know is that we don’t only supply furniture but exhibition walls as well.Back in 2017 Mathews and Associates Architects approached Raw Studios to develop an exhibition system for the exciting new Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria. The brief was music to our ears and a chance to challenge ourselves. In the end, we in collaboration with Journeyman Collective designed and manufactured a walling system, which is suitable for the exquisite Art Centre but also true to our values. Wallspace™ is a sleek and minimalistic modular wall that is easy to use, move, adapt and a simple solution for most exhibitions and even office spaces.The collaboration with Javett and the development of Wallspace™ left us feeling inspired, we mean, our white backdrop walls are being used to showcase some of South Africa’s most talented artists. The richness of the artworks’ colours contrasting with the white walls captures your imagination and takes you to a different world, outside of the busy Jacaranda City. The Javett Art Centre is a tranquil space and a perfect destination to add to your to-do list if you are staying at home this holiday. Get some peace of mind and enrich your holiday with some of the best of local art and culture.
“Had enough of what?” the unenlightened employer may ask.
At RAW we are fighting the system, the system that keeps providing us with ill conceived, unsustainable, badly designed and ridiculously pollutive office furniture and workspaces. The same antiquated system that treats employees as numbers and doesn’t acknowledge health and wellbeing.
It’s 2017, for Pete’s sake, the world has moved on and so has the workplace. Let’s abolish that outdated ‘thinking’ of what an office is and acknowledge the right to healthy, ergonomic and just generally well considered workplaces that we, the lifeblood of companies everywhere, deserve.
The unenlightened employers may say: “What is even the use of this ‘workspace movement’ shenanigans? Everyone just sits at a computer and slaves away. It is not a playground. We are here to work, it’s serious business.”
To them we say, Consider this: Creativity is now widely considered the main driving force within business and the creation of spaces that are directly inducive to creative thinking and furthers easy collaboration between colleagues, is a prerequisite of companies at the cutting edge of innovation. By ignoring the movement companies will risk: stagnating, falling behind and being unable to retain valuable human talent.
So what are the workers’ demands? How do companies turn this around and avoid an uprising?
1. More innovation and creativity
Old offices restrict us, and instil fear into our creative minds*. We are scared of doing something bold, because our environments don’t encourage or facilitate it.
The dated 70s colour palette of beige and yellows and browns, accentuated with orangey wooden laminate textures, overdosed with stacks of paper and files is not going to encourage the brain to think outside the box.
inspiring workspaces = out of the box ideas = innovation = improved turnover
*Note: ‘creative’ is mentioned as an umbrella term that not only includes art and design, but also a universal creativity, for example; taking on plans differently, making changes to the regular routines, making an innovating process that can or will benefit the company, learning new programs… creativity is not just colours and paints and graphics; it’s the way you do the norm differently.
2. Healthier environments
Properly designed workplaces do not have Volatile Organic Compounds floating around, turning our brains into mush and causing respiratory problems. They do not cause long term injuries or ailments.
3. Improved employee/colleague retention
Add value to the working day by supplying us with user- centred furniture and spatial design. We immediately enjoy being at the office, minimising the risk of losing us to opposition.
4. Increased collaboration and sense of community
The spatial planning and furniture design of the workplace will make a company an inviting and uplifting environment that encourages participation and a sense of belonging amongst colleagues.
There won’t be any room for alienation anymore.
5. Higher productivity rates
By bringing in healthy, lighter and well planned workplaces, we can get the most out of ourselves, each other or our employees. User- centred design ensures comfort and considers the senses of the user occupying the space. Comfort ensures we can focus on the task at hand and not get distracted by trivial annoyances of the space we must work in.
So when all the above- mentioned aspects are brought together, a holistic, full circle of benefits emerges and improves the work life of all.
We can help.
RAW Studios, is more than a ‘furniture company’, we actually design furniture that has your health and comfort in mind. We are standing up for everyone, calling for action! Demand quality and comfort and transform your office into a healthy, user-centred workspace! It is a right we should all put into practice.
Now, we know we’re not like most furniture supplier/designers, with a showroom in the centre of town. We’ve rooted ourselves in the calming countryside, where our beautiful surrounds keep us energized and inspired to innovate. But this does not mean you should be a stranger, give us a call and make an appointment to see how we operate on our lovely hilled landscape.
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.
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.
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:
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.The 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.We 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.
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.That 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.We 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.Adding 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.Upholstery 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.These 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 our video of the mockup: