There are 21 million people in Mumbai and taxis are most convenient form of transportation – almost 55,000 and have become an iconic piece of their culture. Taxi Fabric launched in Mumbai last year with their Kickstarter campaign earning them £11,089 (surpassing their goal of £8,000). With that, they pledged to support 30 young designers to bring new life to a culture where design is viewed as purely a concept for function. By integrating bright, loud patterns into such a tight, common space, young designers are opening minds to the immersive impact of their craft and to the possibilities of aesthetics.
Twenty-one designers have been featured on Taxi Fabric so far. Coldplay’s Chris Martin was even shot crooning out the window of one in his music video for “Hymn for the Weekend.” Designers are paired with taxi drivers who have their cabs outfitted entirely, from seat covers to the car roof depicting individual concepts. Each colorful design is significant—celebrating everything from a city that never sleeps with an acid/glow-in-the-dark theme to raising awareness of India’s deaf with sign language—its stages of vision to fruition told story by story.
With the success of Taxi Fabric in Mumbai, co-founder Sanket Avlani plans to expand the project to additional Indian cities and has toyed with other modes of transport like rickshaws. With an open invitation for Indian artists to submit their ideas to design taxi fabric, we anxiously await more stories to be told through these young designers’ experiences and their arresting, encompassing visuals. Fingers crossed that we’ll see this in your Uber or Yellow cab someday!