As a designer of bespoke office furniture, the Pretoria-based Raw Studios has had an excellent vantage point on the changing dynamics of the workplace. Over the past 10 years, Peet van Straaten and team have watched the needs of the workplace change as work habits and setups became more flexible. He has now parlayed that experience into a dynamic new system of complementary pieces, called Offis™.
Made using Raw’s trademark Birch plywood, the furniture fulfils more traditional setups of individual work-stations while catering to offices that use hot-desking and flexible-use spaces.
A central feature of the system are Co-space™ applications that can be configured in multiple ways for brainstorming, meetings and breakaway groups. They include semi-private pods, soft furnishings, discussion tables, ottomans and mobile laptop tables.
The pods are comfortable and have special acoustic properties that “suck up sound”. They can be configured as individual work spaces, quiet study areas and collaborative areas.
“You can connect your mobile devices for focussed work, but also connect formally and informally for collaborative work or meetings with teams or other individuals,” says Van Straaten. “Here employees can mingle in a professional and social way that inspires creativity and creates opportunities for collaboration and unplanned meetings that can add value to the business.”
The new Offis worktable includes low partitions that can be slotted into the desk to define separate work spaces. A modular leg design results in more efficient use of materials during production. The tables come in single, double and L-shaped versions.
The Offis storage pieces include cabinets, filing units and bookshelves that match the pared down, contemporary aesthetic of the range.
“The new collaborative, connected workplace is not only about redefining our mindset about what furniture we need and how our space needs to be reconfigured to be effective,” Van Straaten says. “It also requires a new appraisal of how people and technology interact for the benefit of employer and employee.”