UNPLUGGED

An exclusive collaboration between Nodi and Alma Lopez & Liz Wert of Aditions




OLIVIA MOON ALMA LOPEZ & LIZ WERT in conversation


On how they met

ALMA: Olivia and I had known each other for a while. I was an avid fan of NODI and the idea of collaborating came about just after Liz and I launched ADITIONS. We wanted to explore product development and the partnership with NODI evolved quite organically.


LIZ: While working together on a project at San Francisco Design Week, Olivia, Alma and I came to realize that we held similar views on what we wanted to see offered in the North America market. We wanted to push the boundaries of color when using natural materials. And Alma and I were particularly excited to partner with a New Zealand brand, one with design-led aesthetics that values quality and sustainability.


OLIVIA: Alma, I recall when we first met, you immediately understood NODI’s vision, the product and started specifying it. You would ask questions around customization to fit the purpose of what you were designing at the time. Then this great opportunity presented itself; partnering to create designs that weren’t available. A fun, creative project that worked perfectly in time with the launch of ADITIONS.

Part of the brief was to create a product suitable for the contract market and I feel particularly excited about injecting craft into the commercial tech world. It feels as though craft and technology don’t work together but there is a strong desire for natural textures in workspaces. Something derived directly from nature that makes people feel connected with the outside world. Injecting craft into a world that is largely disconnected from it, will hopefully allow people to experience more joy and energy in their lives. 


—OLIVIA MOON.


On their shared ethos

LIZ: Our brands both gravitate to an understated sophistication which made the collaboration very smooth. We share a similar design aesthetic and Alma and I were also very drawn to the natural materials in NODI’s existing portfolio.


ALMA: Working on projects with NODI was invaluable. When wishing to achieve particular colors and tones, Olivia would gently educate us on the importance of sustainability, working within certain parameters and being flexible when dealing with natural fibers. Olivia always took the time to listen and make suggestions, which made our partnership feel very special.


On sustainability in the design industry

ALMA: I think there’s a big misconception that sustainable materials can’t become beautiful textiles and it’s our responsibility to show that sustainable rugs aren’t restricted to five or so colors. There’s a variety and it’s about how they work together.


OLIVIA: The rugs are crafted for both residential and commercial contexts, and pure New Zealand wool was chosen for its durability. We knew that working with natural fibers would stand up to the demands of daily life while supporting the graphic aesthetic that we wanted to achieve with the designs.


On the design aesthetic of the collection

ALMA: Liz and I considered what was missing in the market and what was meaningful to us. We grew up in a time where cellphones, the internet and social media didn’t exist. The 90s were about individual expression and being unplugged. These grounding notions felt while weathering the pandemic, reinforced the value of celebrating the past and reconnecting with our roots. Digitization was occurring at a rapid rate in the 90s and working with graphic patterns felt like a fun way of exploring expression.


You’ll find checkers, stripes and an interesting mix of weaves in the collaboration. And we wanted to challenge the notion that a rug is either a statement piece or something that blends into the background. We wanted to have fun and create another point of view, where a rug can have artistic expression without overpowering a space.

On how Aditions was founded

LIZ: Alma and I went to the same design school—the Academy of Art—but she was a year ahead of me so we didn’t have classes together. After graduation, we both worked at design firms, manufacturers and furniture dealerships providing well-rounded backgrounds in the industry. By chance, we reconnected four years ago during Milan Design Week at Bar Basso and realized that we held the same position at competing companies. We talked for a while and decided to quit our jobs to start our own studio.


ALMA: Knowing each other but never working together prior means that it’s a perfect synergy. We’re such great business partners and understand each other so well—there’s a lot of respect and no ego. We also discovered that we’re both from Texas. Liz has lived overseas but I’ve only lived in Texas and California.


LIZ: We traveled around a lot when I was younger, but my earliest years were in Texas and our aesthetic is influenced by Texan design.

I grew up surrounded by weaving. From experiencing that tradition to now releasing a collection makes me feel so proud… it’s like a homecoming, in a way. 

—ALMA LOPEZ.


On operating a business from New Zealand

OLIVIA: Sometimes I think living in New Zealand is a real advantage and other times the biggest disadvantage. Overall, it allows curiosity and freedom to create something that we couldn’t do solely here—working with designers who have a totally different approach to ours.


NODI exists to create a natural connection between people and their environment and I’ve only just realized that the rugs are the reason that Alma, Liz and I have connected. It’s so beautiful and I’m just starting to appreciate, now, that many of the international relationships and friendships I’ve formed have been because of the rugs. 


Working with international collaborators, from a communication point of view, has its challenges. It’ll be Monday here and Sunday there but we make it work. And it feels like the right time for NODI to be growing internationally.

On the collaboration launch

LIZ: The United States can be quite pragmatic when it comes to commercial products and I love that New Zealand design is more curious and explorative. Bringing those two mindsets together is really powerful.


ALMA: I was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to partner with NODI. I’ve had a few textile businesses making wall hangings— the craft of weaving is in my family. My parents are from Mexico and my grandpa, on my dad’s side, is a basket weaver. I grew up surrounded by weaving. From experiencing that tradition to now releasing a collection makes me feel so proud. When I told my parents they said, “you’re launching something that is a part of your heritage.” It’s the most amazing feeling, aside from being excited to work with you, Olivia. It’s like a homecoming, in a way.


OLIVIA: That’s so beautiful.