NOMI: Couture culture

Henry Gresson and Tomek Archer

Our collective appetite for control is growing.

Smart phones have made us self important. Technology has given us direct input and social media has let us share our voice on all sort of issues, products and services.

But these days we want it both ways.


We still need ‘the experts’ to design our sportscar, but we relish a little say in the cow hide interior.

As consumers we’re obsessed with ‘customising’ everything from our burger order at Grill’d, to our next document folder for the office.

It’s no wonder then, that online furniture specifying tool NOMI is being adopted at a rate of knots.  Its original purpose – to connect consumers with authentic Australian design  – has a hit a chord with the discerning A&D community. Now it’s starting to penetrate to household consumers.

NOMI combines design and technology, to create a platform that puts furniture lovers in the driving seat.

Sydney Martin Place

It let’s users customise furniture to their exact project requirements, giving them the ability to change the colour, dimensions, paint finish or fabric on a final piece.

In Melbourne Foolscap Studio recently placed the NOMI Storyteller chair into Uncle Collins a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant in the CBD. While in Sydney the Time Table and High Dove have been used for commercial office fit outs.

Design companies including WoodsBagot, Gensler and Hassell have already started using NOMI to order furniture for their projects.


Fresh from showing new products at Denfair and just a few days before for their next installation in Sydney, I caught up with NOMI founders Henry Gresson and Tomek Archer to ask how this project came about.

Henry Gresson who is the Technology expert in the team, clearly gets more excited about the digital platform, than he does about the Pala chairs.

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“We wanted to create a design tool for specifiers working in Architecture and Design industry. Something that would cut out all the backing and forwarding and really helps users work more efficiently,” he says.

“NOMI has great user interface that allows users to do 3D modelling, create a quote, save as a PDF and check out when ready. All the products on our site are systematically designed by Tomek to be flexible and adaptable to project requirements.

“They’re all built with classic, durable materials and each NOMI piece offers consumers both longevity and visual sustainability,” Gresson says.

The idea is that by systematically organising and displaying the options in one seamless interface, NOMI provides a transparency that greatly improves furniture specification for commercial and residential projects.

“The collection has been conceived as a range of basics, informed by a series of studies into fundamental furniture types,” says Tomek, an architect whose star is firmly on the ascent with his gained projects Archer Objects and Archer Projects.

The collection has been conceived as a range of basics

“The adaptable series of chairs, tables and storage each have timeless and enduring qualities that are equally suited to blending in or standing out, depending on the selected customisation options,” Archer says.

The next installation he is overseeing will demonstrate the flexibility of the NOMI range by using it to create a lobby, milk bar, theatre and banquet, all places where we perform different roles based on the way the space works.

INTERACTIONS– NOMI exhibition opens from 10am -5pm Thursday 22-25 June inclusive at Coma Gallery, 137 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters NSW 2011.