The relentless monsoons and the ubiquitous Mumbai taxis are considered the perfect recipe to a disastrous day! Mumbaikars, who are drenched by heavy rains, might try to hail a cab, but, these taxis are synonymous for trouble. Taxis and local trains are the lifelines of India’s financial capital, a city where people are forever rushing somewhere. While the trains run on time, it is hard to find a taxi when you need one! However, now a quiet and inspiring team of creative souls are making a fervent effort to change that.
What it’s All About
They are a design cult popularly known as ‘Taxi Fabric’. Sanket Avlani, with a group of other enthusiastic designers, has launched a campaign to add up aesthetics to a mundane Mumbai taxi ride. The team at Taxi Fabric tries to reduce the woes of taxi rides by making the taxis interesting enough to match the Bollywood capital’s ever funky lifestyle. Actually, it’s an interesting idea to re-design the taxi seat covers to give them a classy look.
Almost all of Mumbai taxi cars are old Premier Padmini or Fiat 1100 models that have been running in the city for decades. These old and sunken Premier Padmini cabs that have black-and-yellow faces are now getting transformed with an artistic make-over from Taxi Fabric. Avlani and his hip team have brought in young designers to refurbish the old taxis to give a whole new meaning to cab rides in the city.
Taxi Fabric, in fact, brings the shine to these otherwise boring taxis. The extravagant designs with foliage, petals, animal-like imagery catch the fancy of Mumbai travelers. Although he is an employee of an advertising agency called Creativeland Asia, Avlani puts his efforts that aspire to change the steady and mundane. To be frank, it’s a funky creative idea to change the very experience of taxi rides!
Talking about the origin of his idea Avlani says, he regularly had to take a taxi daily to go for work. Being a designer and an avid art director, he naturally got the idea of redesigning the dumb taxi seat-covers to make taxi rides memorable for everyone. The domain of art depiction is limitless, and the designs are so too. The ‘Taxi Fabric’ project is not for profit, and there is no cost to the taxi owners for getting a stylish and soul-stirring design. Interestingly, the cab drivers of Mumbai do not quite have the patience for style, but Avlani’s heart-warming adornment techniques of the interiors has reignited their imagination as well.
Transforming Taxi Interiors
While redesigning the taxis is an offbeat task, it is tough one as well. Basically, the seat covers are given creative psychedelic designs, along with textured faux leather, hang alongside the rear-view mirrors, the neon lights, and the fiber portrait onto the dashboards. What come out as an output are taxis that are just an infinite illustration of gorgeous and meticulous design.
No wonder, young designers are quite excited in helping out Mumbai cab and taxi drivers revamp their interiors. Designers at Taxi Fabric are open to contribute towards this project just because it takes their designs right to the streets amid the crowd and makes the city life a bit more vibrant.
The team at Taxi Fabric asks the few avant-garde taxi drivers to take note of the reaction of the people who are lucky enough to get into a refurbished taxi. The result has been overwhelming. To monetize the effort, a model is being prepared that will supply fabrics to those who make taxi-covers. Although it seems to be a challenging idea, the taxi and cab drivers seem to be ready to pay for a bright, cool and no-nonsense vehicle.
Travel in Mumbai is sometimes long and dull, and several customers book taxis regularly to work and back. Adding creative designs to seat covers is surely going to gauge the pulse of the passengers apart from making the journey a memorable one. Not surprisingly, taxi drivers are more eager to this change.
Taxi Fabric is still in a nascent stage, but the effort has been hailed by one and all. And, why not? If art can make our journeys a bit less monotonous and provide us with an aspiring hue of classy fabrics when we expect it the least, it is an effort everyone should be in for. If you get lucky enough to experience it in Mumbai, pay the respect to team Avlani for making your journey unputdownable.
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