STUDIO PROPOLIS is a Nairobi based design workshop setup by husband and wife team Naeem Biviji and Bethan Rayner in 2005. Our work combines a formal education as architects with an informal training as furniture makers. We are passionate about making things and we work with different materials across disciplines and scales. Our strength lies in our ability to oscillate comfortably between designing and making.
The relationship between locally available materials and our own craft culture informs how we make and how we design. Our workshop forms the core of our studio practice. The ability to continually test ideas through prototyping and production underpins our methodology. It has given us space to innovate and experiment, building an intimate knowledge of how things are made and how to build locally.
Our commissions have been diverse and projects range from design and build architecture projects to prototyping and manufacturing custom furniture and joinery that make up an on-going collection of pieces.
Naeem studied architecture at the University of Edinburgh graduating in 2004. He has worked in Scotland, India and Kenya. He is passionate about working in different materials and learning new techniques of making.
His exploration builds on his unconventional experience as an architect, furniture maker and builder. In 2005 Naeem co-founded the design partnership Studio Propolis.
Beth studied architecture at the University of Edinburgh graduating in 2003. She has worked in architecture practices in the UK, USA and Mexico and had an informal workshop education as a furniture maker.
This experience is instrumental in seeing concept through to fabrication through drawing and making. In 2005 Bethan co-founded the design partnership Studio Propolis.