Carting around Mumbai’s massive population of 20 million people requires a fleet of 50,000 taxis. Typically I’d say there’s nothing super cool about taxis, in fact they’re usually just sort of smelly and present lots of places you never ever want to touch, but right now in Mumbai, taxis are presenting an opportunity for budding artists. Recently five of these regular old taxis received a rad makeover due to a collaboration between local designers and Taxi Fabric, a project that reupholsters old, boring taxi interiors and transforms them into vibrant works of art.
Taxi Fabric aims to create a more uplifting experience for Mumbai’s residents, while also giving local artists exposure. Sanket Avlani, the brains behind Taxi Fabric, states that opportunities for emerging creators are rare since design is often taken for granted in India. The fact that this opportunity allows emerging creators to have their works viewed by thousands, makes it invaluable to under-the-radar artists.
Taxi Fabric serves as the liaison between designers and cab owners, pairing them up, funding the operation and getting the soon-to-be artsy fartsy wheels in motion. Originally self-funded by Avlani, the project has now started a Kickstarter with the hopes of earning $27,000 to allow for substantial growth.
Traditionally Mumbai taxi drivers are known for customizing their cars with flashy typography, knick knacks and kitschy hangings. These revamped taxis are quickly proving popular with drivers and passengers, and providing a unique way to incorporate design into everyday life.
Each design acts as a homage to the city, celebrating everything from dabbawallas (people who make deliveries in colorful carriers) to the very nature of the city. You can donate to the Kickstarter page until August 11th, but even if can’t donate, check it out so you can learn about the artists and view the ridiculously kickass taxis they’ve worked on.