Design Indaba 2011: Raw Studios

By Marica

Raw Studios, another Design Indaba 2011 exhibitor, also caught my eye (they’re my secret favourite, shhhhh).

Under the creative guidance of Pretoria-based furniture designer Peet Van Straaten, Raw Studios design and manufacture beautiful furniture pieces from sustainable engineered materials often making use of CNC machining processes. Their natural birch plywood product ranges can be customized with funky colours and quirky prints.

Peet van Straaten from Raw Studios - Image via

Now if there is one thing I appreciate more than an attractive design, it’s a clever attractive design.  The genius of Raw Studios’ product ranges (other than the sleek and simplistic good-looks) is the intelligent, and might I add environmentally friendly, way it’s all put together. They have spend some time designing and perfecting joining and clipping systems that, in some of their designs, renders toxic glues assembling tools obsolete. Truly masters of innovation.

As for that sleek and simplistic product, Peet must have picked that up in Rotterdam – he spent 6 years there cultivating his design and joinery skills. The Dutch are renowned for their simplistic, functional and often quirky designs.

Raw Studios - Ikonik

Ikonik is Raw Studios’ take on the original old school steel locker. It is fully modular, flexible and durable.

Raw Studios - Klik

Klik is a modular storage system with magnitude of possibilities from office workstations to shopfitting and children’s rooms. A smorgasbord of modular elements such as shelving, work tops, cupboards, drawers and storage boxes simply “klik” into the base panel and can be reconfigured as requirements change. I would love this for our studio.

Raw Studios - Tressel

Tressel is Raw Studios modular interpretation of the traditional trestle table. The Tressel top is available in natural birch and white, but the legs can be stained – the table looks seriously funky with colourful legs.

Raw Studios - Sideklik

The Sidekik server has the added functionality of a removable table component that effectively doubles the serving area. Two tables arranged back to back will produce a full size dining table for 6-8 people.

Raw Studios - Slowfa

Slowfa is a very simple little bench seat in three different sizes. Several colours can be applied to the inside of the Slowfa for extra effect. It’s cute, né!

In a recent interview with Visi, Peet stated that he believes plywood is the new hardwood (only better). We have undoubtedly seen a general trend in furniture design gravitating toward plywood and particle board products. Why? Well, plywood is flexible, cheap, workable & recyclable. It is also resistant to cracking, shrinkage, and twisting/warping. It has a general high degree of strength… oh and don’t forget that it’s more eco-friendly and sustainable than hardwood. I can definitely see why this is Raw Studios’ material of choice.

Images & Info via Raw – do yourself a favour & check out their website

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