“This one word has such power that it is keeping beauty alive. It is free from boundaries and shackles. The past can meet the present and a night can be more colourful than a day. It lets you play God and create new worlds, new beings and mirages.”
Nasheet Shadani’s Tasavvur (which means imagination in Urdu) has created a whole new world for the people of Delhi. Escape to the magical era of post impressionism, where colours, strokes and textures merge to create a vivid spectacle.
Nasheet ( working at Wieden + Kennedy Delhi ), his approach to Taxi Fabric was that of a painter and not a designer. He wanted to create a visual atmosphere for the audience. “I realized that the first auto in the City of Djinns should be magical and should instantly connect with the people of Delhi. Here, the Van Gogh-inspired beautiful brush strokes compliment the vibrant nature of the city.”
Speaking of his inspiration, Nasheet says, “I went back to my old sketchbook and reminded myself of the style that came naturally to me those days – the one inspired by post-impressionism with Fauvist’s color scheme.” He mused, “Since college days my sketching had a strong influence of Van Gogh.”
Standing magnificently amidst the starry night is Humayun’s Tomb. Drawing inspiration from Delhi’s rich history and Mughal heritage, Nasheet believes that it encompasses the true spirit of Old Delhi. “There is so much we can learn from the past and sometimes bring it back to the design world with a new flavour,” he adds, “our history is full of mind-blowing art and design. We always talk about our great past, which is fine; but we should learn from it and then take things to the next level.
Reminiscing about the past, Nasheet laments, “We have lost our charm in design. There is more art in a roadside dhaba’s hand painted signage than most signage in a shopping mall."
Taking Bollywood into consideration he adds, “Have a look at the old Bollywood posters, most of them were works of art. And look at the Bollywood posters now; most of them are really bad, overtly photo-shopped and they reflect the noise of our times.”
So, where did our aesthetics go in the last few decades? “Technology has fooled us all,” Nasheet shakes his head, “If a designer’s aesthetics are great he will create a great design no matter how and where he creates it.”
Hence, Taxi Fabric was the perfect medium to convey his ideas. “It is a fantastic opportunity to get the work out of the computer screens to the streets and give it back to public in the most unexpected place!” he exclaims.
Today, travelling the streets, is our first Taxi Fabric in Delhi. So, leave your logic behind and let your imagination loose in Tassavur, where night is more colourful than day.
Written by Isha Jhunjhunwala
Photographs by Sanket Avlani and Siddharth Samant.
Delhi Rickshaws provided by Manas Foundation.