Workers Rise Up! Join the movement!

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Workers Rise Up! Join the movement!
Something is stirring deep within the belly of our beautiful motherland and it’s time that workers everywhere rise up and show that they have had enough!

“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 Let’s abolish that outdated ‘thinking’ of what an office is and acknowledge the right to healthy, ergonomic and just generally well considered workplaces that we, the lifeblood of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?

For starters:

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
RAW Studios Nandos workspace design *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.

healthy workspace = healthy individuals = enjoy workRAW Studios Pods Worklife

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.

successful design = improved staff retentionRAW Studios Open plan office design

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.

community =  considered workspace  = collaborationRAW Studios Collaboration Spaces

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.

user comfort =  ergonomic workspace = uninterrupted focus RAW Studios Nando's Workspace

So when all the above- mentioned aspects are brought together, a holistic, full circle of benefits emerges and improves the work life of all.

RAW Studios New Offices infographics

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.

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.

Customerization now trending at Raw.

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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.RAW Studios Customerization surfaces Ohtwo chairThat 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.RAW Studios Customerization Office Range Workspace Storage Co-space StorageWe 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.RAW Studios Customerization office furniture doors drawer lockers frontsAdding 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.RAW Studios Customerization Din+ Range Furniture tables chairsUpholstery 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.RAW Studios Customerization Co-space Office Furniture Upholstery PodThese 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 us at Inspire Trade Expo 1 - 3 June 2016

See our video of the mockup:

Nandos and Raw in hot, hot, hot Combo.

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UPDATE: See the project video footage.

When the South African success story, Nandos, decided to revamp its spiritual home in Lorentzville Johannesburg, where it started trading over two decades ago, it was bound to be anything but a
run-of-the-mill project.

Nandos Central kitchen project / home in Lorentzville Johannesburg

The brief was a collaboration with industry veteran, Tracy Lynch, who curated the relationship between Nandos and exceptional South African designer/makers. Rather than a design showcase, it focused on creating a hard-working space for a large workforce, they themselves articulating a unique and authentic ZAesthetic, true to the feisty Nandos’ spirit.

Nandos home in Lorentzville Johannesburg

There followed an exceptional year of conceptualising, liaising, communicating, collaborating, producing and delivering. This culminated, near the end of 2014, in the launch of Central Kitchen, an expansive, interconnected campus of seven buildings.

Nandos home in Lorentzville Johannesburg

Originally approached to supply the, now famous, Ikonik and Klik system products, Raw Studios presented a mock-up of the Offis™ system. The clients were won over by the superior combination of quality, ruggedness, real design, and the honest price tag; and so, the contract for the complete office workstation and storage solution was awarded to Raw – a contract second in value only to that of the main contractor.

Nandos home in Lorentzville Johannesburg

In addition to the main office furniture component, Raw studios, amongst others, also supplied chairs, discussion- and training-tables.

Additional orders have been rolling in since the end of the project. On top of this, Raw have now also been included in the prestigious Nandos’ Design Collection, one of only five companies nationwide. This further strengthens an already inspiring and powerful relationship between the two companies. See our next blog > new chair.

The Central kitchen project will undoubtedly be appreciated as an historical and pivotal South African creative collaboration and Raw Studios is proud to have had a significant role to play.

Nandos Central kitchen project

Plywood radios on a mission

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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.”