If you live in a major metropolitan area, you probably see taxis as a utilitarian necessity. They get you from point A to point B, and you never think of them again. Taxi Fabric, a company based in Mumbai, is looking to change that.
Working with local artists, Taxi Fabric finds art based on and inspired by Mumbai and pairs that art with taxi and rickshaw drivers. Each vehicle gets personal artwork so that nothing is repeated. The designs range from educational, to psychedelic, to historical.
There are many benefits to the work. Some of the designs create awareness about different Mumbai-specific issues. The taxis themselves create a new and engaging experience for commuters, leading to longer rides and better tips for the drivers. The artists and designers get to show their work to more people than they would in other venues.
The drive to embark on this venture is easy to understand:
The designs that cover the taxi seats are often functional and forgettable and with the outstanding design talent Mumbai has to offer, this shouldn’t be the case.
How it’s Done
The taxi Fabric team helps pair designers with taxi owners.
The taxi drivers go to Taxi Fabric when they decide to outfit their taxis in artwork. The Taxi Fabric team tries to get each designer to speak with the driver. It’s important that they develop a relationship and understand each other. Because of this relationship, the drivers can be matched with an artist that best understands their story, and the artists can find a driver best suited to explain the story behind the artwork.
The actual process takes place in multiple areas of Mumbai. There’s a printing centre in Lalbaug, and the seat fitters are in Khar. Photography of the finished works takes place all over the city depending on the story being told by the artwork.
Here are a few examples of the great work:
For more information about Taxi Fabric, and to see all the different taxis they’ve designed for, check out their Facebook, and their Tumblr pages. You can also follow Taxi Fabric on Twitter and Instagram.