Mumbai’s charm lies in its chaos. With its overwhelming smells, loud noises, bold colours and bizarre sights, the city consumes you in its daily hustle bustle. Yet, oddly enough, you find that this cacophony has an order to it. Somehow, it all falls in place to shape a unique pattern of life in the city.
This ‘organised chaos’ is what prompted Aniruddh to tell a similar visual story with his new Taxi Fabric. He says, “I looked at Architecture from a broader spectrum, using design elements that would transform the interiors into a kaleidoscopic, geometric world.” This busy mix of bold patterns, intricate household tiles, geometric lines echoes the city’s hubbub. “Mumbai is also home to Bollywood and everything else that is visually loud; and I think Auto Chaos would fit in just right,” he explains.
The tradition of household patterns and bold decorations is drawn from India’s rich cultural history. Aniruddh believes that they are styles which are prominent in our traditional aesthetics.
“When we look back, we can see that art and design are deeply embedded in us - from ancient architecture to traditional textiles to beautiful intricate sculptures. We are also known for our love to decorate everything, whether it's our homes, temples, gods or our vehicles.”
While, this combination of patterned tiles work and geometric tessellations, as Aniruddh feels, will always be relatable in India, there has been a considerable shift in their demand. Dictated by changing social trends and western influences, our fast-paced lives and multi-storey high rises call for marble and ceramic tiles over the traditional ones. These intricate patterns and bold geometric forms that reflect our culture and lifestyles are slowly reducing their footprint in modern day India.
Speaking of cultural inspiration, Aniruddh says, “India is a culturally colourful and diverse country - it has its inspiration knitted in its details.” It is these details and decoration that have lost their charm in an age where the fad of minimalism and functionality is taking over. To emphasise more on the importance of these patterns and forms, Aniruddh decided to go with a black and white combination for his design.
As an illustrator, Aniruddh speaks of his personal struggle, “One of the battles I often face is not being as comfortable with a pen and paper as I am with digital tools. I have always enjoyed exploring softwares more; and I think my style has evolved as a product of that.” Focusing on this as an advantage rather than a weakness, he has managed to set himself apart in the design sphere. His unique style led to the creation of these geometric patterns that now shape the interiors of Auto Chaos
When it comes to Taxi Fabric, he exclaims, “It was definitely one of the most fun projects I've had the chance to be involved with. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work on a canvas as iconic as the Mumbai rickshaw!”
While there has been an overwhelming response to his Taxi Fabric, Aniruddh comments that the best reaction yet, has been from the auto rickshaw Drivers. When another rickshaw driver saw his friend’s newly transformed vehicle, he joked to him, saying, “…pehle toh tu Bail Gaadi chalata tha, ab Taj Mahal ban gaya!"(You used to have a Bullock Cart for an auto; and now its been transformed to the Taj Mahal)
Written by Isha Jhunjhunwala.
Images courtesy : Architectural Digest India, Neville Sukhia and Siddharth Samant.
This Taxi Fabric Project is supported
by Architectural Digest