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 Let’s abolish that outdated ‘thinking’ of what an office is and acknowledge the right to healthy, ergonomic and just generally well considered workplaces that we, the lifeblood of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

10 solid reasons why we can make a real difference to your next project.

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Raw Studios Worklife Office
Great workspace does not just happen.

Ready to start transforming your (clients) workspace: this is how we can help.
Raw Studios Spyne System Worklife Designer office furniture

Here are 10 solid reasons why we can make a real difference to your next project.

1. We’re more affordable than you think.

Seriously, we hear this from people all the time; “we though this quality and real design was going to come at a way higher price point” or “when we compared your offering with like products we were pleasantly surprised at the value”.

We argue that that is what real modular systems design is supposed to do: make great stuff more affordable, have a wider impact and ultimately help people out.

2. We actually care about your health and wellbeing.

Are you sick of smelling the melamine gasses coming off your office furniture? Well you have another choice, you know?

The engineered materials (solid birch plywood) that we employ in our ranges are natural and conform to the highest Northern European standards for health and sustainability. If you would like to know more about how green we really are, please download this short fact sheet.

3. We don’t just talk the talk, we innovate, we don’t just combine, we design.

So many workplace design companies talk the talk of collaboration, productivity, team activation, employee happiness and engagement, just to turn around and offer the same old rows and rows of table with pedestal combos and maybe some upholstered pod like structures… wow!

We actually take the time to consider where workspace and worklife is heading and to design solutions to the challenges posed by the changing landscape of work.

We consider how “super teams” now operate and what they need and how furniture should not get in the way of great collaboration and creativity, how often mobile workers have become, and how their needs have changed, but also that there is still a large group of employees that simply spend half their lives at the office and deserve to feel comfortable and assisted.

Raw Studios office range solution

4. We actually give a damn about the environment.

Raw is as green as we can make it, not perfect, but always improving. If you would like to know more about how green we really are, please download this short fact sheet.

5. We touch your site lightly.

Our systems are modular, flexible, and for the most part free standing. We don’t make dust or any other mess when we install and actually prefer to install just before the client takes occupation. No mess, no fuss.

6. Our lead times are way shorter that most imports or bespoke solutions.

Our standard lead-time is 3-5 weeks and we haven’t been late, ever! Many imported or bespoke solution can take three times as long to realize.

Raw Studios Blimp Worklife designer office furniture
7. We are agile, flexible and resourceful.

We are makers that are driven by a passion to make better experiences. We have our own prototyping facility where we can fast-track development on specific requests, and on larger projects we can design special apps and solutions. Please see our Customerization blog here.

8. We’re in it for the long solution, (modularity and longevity). Our products last longer.

We don’t buy into the throw away culture of “produce cheap and chuck away after three-five years”. We design and produce modular systems that can be re-configured and serviced from quality solid birch Finnish plywood.

9. We are authentic, with our own design language; we are a great alternative to the generic (yawn) products out there and as a challenger company, we try harder.

Yes, we are now often up against the big boys in the industry and because we offer something different to the generic office (you know it… Steel frame and melamine top… realy long yaaawn! ) We have caught the attentions of producers and corporates alike. Clients are not satisfied with the “usual” look, feel and function any longer.

10. We’re 100% local.

Local content is trending and for good reason… it’s damn lekker and sustainable. More often than not projects call for high local content and you don’t get more local than RAW. To see us at work on our beautiful hill, please see this short video:

Simpl Stor nip and tuck

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Simpl Stor™, 2016 refreshed version more versatile and project friendly.

Raw Simpl Stor New office storage furniture

Since its unceremonious launch three years ago the simpl stor™ range has grown from a basic storage solution into something very refined and varied in its application possibilities whilst still retaining that simple clean-lined elegance, quirkiness and downright ridiculously high cuddle factor.

Raw Simpl Stor office storage furniture

For its 2016 refresh we have stuck to the look and feel now so famous within our ranges but with the doors and drawer faces set back into the frame slightly to create cleaner door integration and allowing the strong grid lines to define the look even further.

Raw office storage furniture simpl stor old new inset door closup

Additionally we have added two appearance options that we are sure will be appreciated by designers on larger projects namely a new handle option (see image hereunder) and slotted door “locker” option that is reminiscent of our well known Ikonik™ range.

Raw office storage furniture new handle lock options

The plan is to develop the locker version into a fully fledged range within simpl stor™ and offering ikonik™ style coolness in a more affordable and lockable version.

Raw office storage furniture new simpl stor lockers ikonik

Raw is super proud to showcase our freshly nipped and tucked simpl stor™ range at Inspire trade-only show from 1-3 June at Gallagher Estate JHB, exhibition stand stand CON10.

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:

Project Testimonial – Africa Centre

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It took a forward thinking organization in need of change, combined with an architect team with real vision, to create what is quickly becoming known as the “new” Africa Centre. Raw is proud to have played a significant part in the transformation of the workspaces and interiors at this legendary international research centre in rural Kwazulu-Natal.

Also see our Africa Centre project page.