July 15, 2015

Design that takes you places by Taxi Fabric

by Amishi Parekh

Taxis have a knack for becoming icons of the cities they ply in. Whether it’s the bright yellow New York City cabs or the authoritative black cabs of London, to Mumbai’s own ‘kaali peelis’ (black & yellows), they seem to inspire a unique devotion.


Number Game by Sanket Avlani

If you think about it, everyone from a big shot to a fisherwoman has in turn shared a seat or sought refuge when hit by a sudden burst of rain. They are vehicles that carry passengers and stories of the reality of urban life. In 2013, we had featured an initiative started by Sanket Avlani called Taxi Fabric. The project connects designers with taxi drivers, turning seat covers into a canvas for custom designs – a ‘moving’ portfolio anyone? Adding to that, it’s a way for designers to have a more visible impact on the ‘fabric’ of the city.


Pranita Kocharekar’s ‘You & I’

What started off as a blog eventually became an intensive project involving manufacturers, fabric sourcing, finding the right print vendors and figuring out how the designers would fit in. Sanket met with drivers and designers, and spent some time working all the details about. Somewhere in between, he moved to London. In April this year, the team went into full execution mode.


Lokesh Karekar’s ‘From a Taxi Window’


Tasneem Amiruddin’s ‘Jungle Book’

Five taxis have already been given colourful, graphic new avatars by Pranita Kocharekar, Tasneem Amiruddin, Lokesh Karekar, Gaurav Ogale and Sanket Avlani. Yesterday, the team launched a Kickstarter campaign to enlist more designers and complete their goal of re-furnishing 25 taxis by the end of this year. It costs roughly 15,000 rupees to fit out one taxi, and Taxi Fabric’s goal of 8,000 pounds will cover the costs of taking the taxi off the road for a whole day, managing their website and documenting the whole process on film.

In the words of Taxi Fabric, “Design can take you places.” Check out and support the campaign, and your ride can be a little bit sweeter.


Cutting by Gaurav Ogale

Featured image: Proud owner Jayantbhai with his redesigned taxi by Tasneem Amiruddin

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