"The fabric of existence weaves itself whole."-Charles Ives
Words that never (or maybe rarely) get spoken entering a taxicab in most countries: "Wow, the interior of this taxi looks amazing!" In fact, boring taxi interiors are just yet another mundane, unnoticed detail of a city dwellers's life. Which is why I was so intrigued by the creativity of designer Sanket Avlani's Taxi Fabric project in India. I first read about Taxi Fabric when it was recently featured in this Good article. At that time the effort was still seeking support through its Kickstarter page but has since exceeded its fundraising goal and has outfitted ten taxis in Mumbai.
Here's how Taxi Fabric works. The interiors of old (and new) Mumbai taxis are reupholstered with original textile designs created by up and coming designers. It really is an unique way to give exposure to beautiful design in a practical way. According to Good, "Taxi Fabric acts as the matchmaker between the designers and cab owners, offering to fund the collaboration and set the wheels in motion." Taxi Fabric describes the match beautifully: "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. Design, as a job or even simply something studied at school, is unfortunately not widely recognized in India. Older generations don't understand it- design to them, just performs a function. Many people don't know that design can create a real impact. With so few spaces for young people to show off their skills, it's hard to change that perception."