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Old 5th October 2015, 12:24   #1
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Default Taxi Fabric - designs and artwork showcased through cab upholstery

India has been known as a country where truck, rickshaw and taxi operators personalize their machines and a new collective has just struck upon an idea to tap into this market.

Started by designer Sanket Avlani, Taxi fabric is a project that allows artists to showcase their skills, literally through a taxi's interior fabric. Taxi drivers, in this case the black and yellow cabs of Mumbai, often reflect the local culture through their vehicles. Taxi fabric saw this as an opportunity for designers to give their art mobility and taxi drivers the option of giving their cars a personality. The team printed their first taxi fabric around 6 months ago and as of September 2015, the group has re-upholstered 1 rickshaw and 13 cabs. While the first few cabs were self-funded projects, the team eventually started a crowd funding initiative on Kickstarter that recently raised around Rs. 11 lakh.

The group even targets social issues through their artwork. Designer Harshit Vishwakarma upholstered a cab's interior with the Indian sign language, in order to spread awareness for the hearing impaired. Through their website, taxi fabric will be exhibiting a variety of designs, the stories behind them and insights from the designers.

Taxi drivers don't have to pay to get their ''upholstery upgrade'' as the collective handles all costs, including printing, cutting, stitching and fitting. According to a report by ET Auto, the drivers even receive monetary compensation for the time the vehicle is off the road, while the upholstery is changed. Designers, illustrators and artists who want to showcase their own taxi fabric, can submit their portfolio and design concepts (which must be inspired by Mumbai) to taxifabric@gmail.com. The designs will be reviewed by the team, and people who have sent in their entries will be contacted once approved.

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Last edited by Tushar : 5th October 2015 at 12:26.
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Old 6th October 2015, 16:31   #2
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Default Re: Taxi Fabric - designs and artwork showcased through cab upholstery

Interesting to visualize the shift from the "Indian aesthetic" to a more "Pop-art" look!

On one hand it's funky as hell, on the other extreme, it could be thought of as the gentrification of the insides of Mumbai's taxis...

I'm also glad that this happened whilst the Padminis were still on the road. It just wouldn't have the same 'Mumbai' appeal if it was Santros!
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