The New Raw
Rebuilding from waste

The New Raw is a research and design studio based in Rotterdam founded in 2015 by architects Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki with the ambition to give new life to discarded materials through design, robots and craftsmanship. They develop their own (digital) craftsmanship techniques through a formal and technical language that highlights the texture and the layer-by-layer character of its in-house robotic manufacturing process that is 100% circular.

Finding a niche

We met at the Architecture school. The idea of collaboration came a few years later, in an effort to finally manage to do something together that would combine Panos’ obsession for things that are considered a waste and Foteini’s passion for digital craftsmanship. Our creative practise was born after a workshop that we organised and tutored on a Greek island; and a few months later we were granted a research fund to officially start our journey on developing design concepts with robotic fabrication and recycled plastics for the public space of Amsterdam.


Products from projects

We dream hard but at the same time we are dedicated pragmatists! We are three entities under one roof, we do design, R&D and production in-house. This is limiting and liberating at the same time. We consider ourselves digital craftsmen since we go deep into the technique and the tools and try to find new unexpected ways to express the materiality of plastic waste. We bring our architectural background in our design practise. Most of our work is project based and all our products get born from a project and not the opposite.


A haphazard daily routine

A regular day in the office is always irregular! We usually combine tasks that are intellectual and hands-on. Being actively involved in all stages of a design from conception to detailed design, to prototyping, to production creates blurry boundaries between the (usually distinct) stages of a product development. This reflects also on our day structure that may start from the laptop screen and end-up in the lab with hands full of dust! And all these without including managing Kimon, our 12 month old son!


Towards zero-waste

From a spatial point of view, our studio is organised in the clean studio space - the area where we brainstorm, sketch, discuss, develop ideas- and the lab, which includes our material stock, sample library, the robots and our hand tools. As we try to align our ideas with our studio operation, we work hard towards becoming a zero-waste practise. We do a lot of effort to reduce our environmental footprint by minimising our waste from the production, optimising the material usage and doing a lot of recycling. Since the opening of our lab in Rotterdam (November 2019), we have managed to recycle more than 3 tonnes of plastic waste and produce furniture and building components from this material.


Working on larger ideas

Even though we have an architectural background, we do not practise architecture in the “traditional” sense. We do research and design with a trial and error approach that often results in getting our hands dirty with the chemistry of plastics, the design of material architectures and the engineering & production of abstract structures. We tend to think of the framework and project on larger ideas. This mentality derives from our architecture DNA.


A city rebuilt from waste

Currently we do a lot of R&D that is based in three main directions: material, digital craftsmanship and new design applications. We experiment a lot with new types of plastic waste (coming from the fishing, shipping and the building industry) for which we develop suitable ways to implement in meaningful applications - from architectural elements for the outdoor and indoor landscape of retail, corporate or private spaces to affordable everyday products. All these in parallel to pursuing the implementation of our Print Your City concept! As soon as the covid restrictions will be over we are planning to start again locally printing public furniture for some new locations!

The New Raw Portrait c Michelle Margot Fotini Setakis
Photo by Michelle Margot

The New Raw Design Details c Marily Konstantinopoulou 2 Fotini Setakis
Photo by Marily Konstantinopoulou

The New Raw Studio c The New Raw 1 Fotini Setakis

The New Raw Studio c The New Raw 4 Fotini Setakis

The New Raw Studio c The New Raw 3 Fotini Setakis
Photos courtesy of The New Raw

a project powered by Itinerant Office

subscribe to our newsletter

follow us