People usually expect big things from Raw Studios at 100% Design and this year, as always, we won’t disappoint. In addition to our collaboration with the curators to create a space for interesting workshops and talks we have been developing a range of sustainable and affordable timber frame buildings and homes that are flexible, adaptable, modular and can be customised to create a very personal home.Furniture you can live in, for those who demand well-considered design that’s healthy, environmentally responsible, fast and fuss-free.
We took our knowledge of furniture design, engineered materials and CNC manufacturing and applied it at a much larger scale to start creating our new range of furniture you can live in.
Crafting the container also led us into developing a modular timber structure and semi-permanent dwelling places. We will be giving you a glimpse into the places we’ve started to create at this years’ 100% Design.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
100% Design South Africa took place last weekend, at Gallagher Convention Centre, where local and international exhibitors showcased their innovative products and solutions to both the trade and public.
Raw Studios’ eye-catching 3m high Co-space, created more than ample interest. It enticed interesting, fresh and, sometimes down-right bizarre visitor engagement. The visually inspiring, Co-space with colourful splashes of thought-provoking elements, was designed and produced on-site, at their Pretoria studio workshop.
Raw Studios’ proud team of experts pushed digital fabrication boundaries, creating a next-generation solution for the modern work life. It was made using CNC technology and environmentally responsible materials.
Peet van Straaten, owner of Raw Studios, commented, that the concept of the Co-space was to activate a transitional, open space, encouraging interaction and conversation. “We wanted to emphasise that the nature of work, as well as its environment, is changing and that employees will ultimately be the force driving the revolution towards more flexibility and responsiveness.”
Openplan layout with no work-life balance was part of the old rules. Employees no longer work solely at their workstations, but rather also at home, on the move, as well as in other spaces within the office environment itself. New rules require that employees have more flexibility and interconnectedness. There is an evident need for different types of spaces for the different types of vocations. Considered and connected employees become brand ambassadors and will be the greatest of assets if cared for and recognised by employers. These new rules in the work life environment were explored at Raw’s Co-space stand for all to observe and absorb.
The message was clear. Raw Studios provides flexible, collaborative, workspace and Co-space solutions for the modern, digitally evolving business of tomorrow.
Spoiler alert…now for the good stuff. Get your popcorn ready.
The BLIMP is on the move
Raw Studios has decided that this is only the beginning for The BLIMP. Yes every BoxOffice-hit should have a star, followed by a roadshow of course.
Peet adds: “What started out as a raw concept, a way to invite the spectator into our world, is evolving into something with a lot of possibility and potential.”
It’s official. The BLIMP has arrived in the Built Environment Centre (BEC) on Fox street, in the Maboneng Precinct, and will be residing there for a few weeks, before moving to the next exciting environment, the idea being to travel all around Gauteng!
Raw Studios recently provided the BEC with office- and meeting-room furniture, as well as Hot-desking items -all tuned to motivating collaboration and connection in the ever-evolving worklife of tomorrow. This is the opportune platform to introduce these new product ranges, as well as a space in which to engage with fellow industry partners.
Victoria Stephens, Executive Manager of GIfA says: “GIfA partnered with Legrand Concept Store to move into 274 Fox street, Maboneng in May 2015, to open the BEC. The purpose of this initiative is to promote the built environment and create awareness of architecture, whilst serving our members’ interests. The BEC aims to provide post-graduates, graduates and industry professionals with the resources needed to trade and effectively operate their businesses. The Built Environment enables them to network and collaborate as well as providing industry expertise, meeting facilities, equipment and advisory services.”
This is a Raw Studios’ call-out to all those industry junkies, designers, forward-thinking business folk, executives and inspired students, to come and engage at the BLIMP.
The official opening of the BEC will be announced soon. Naturally you are invited and who knows, maybe we’ll even throw in a VIP ticket, just because that’s how we roll.
Until next time. Raw getting real.
#blimp #nextstep #rawstudios #worklife #pretoria #co-space #digitaloffice
Information about GIfA and the BEC: http://bit.ly/1PBiWO2
The difficult second chair.
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.
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.
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.
So, 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).