Graphic Designer / Illustrator
India and Pakistan. Separated at birth,
siblings who grew up and forgot how much they love each other.
When we started Taxi Fabric, we had no idea we’d come this far. Today, we take a major step in our journey as we collaborate with Samia Arif, a young designer from Pakistan. Her design called ‘Monad’ is inspired by our similarities. Speaking of her design Samya says, “I was approached by Taxi Fabric to do a design for the upcoming independence days of both India and Pakistan. I based my designs on the idea that Indians and Pakistanis are essentially the same people, coming from similar roots and focusing on our commonalities and unique characteristics at the same time.”
In fact, the way design is perceived in both nations is essentially the same too.
“Design is an often overlooked and understated field in Pakistan.There is also a lack of design implementation in our daily lives. However, the picture is slowly but surely changing, with more design graduates coming out each year and forming their own passionate ventures.” – Samya Arif
Her early inclination and passion towards art got her parents to encourage her to take up architecture. However, upon reaching university she found her true calling in design. Her story after graduation was no different than the stories of many design graduates today in India.
“After graduating the struggle has been that of finding a job that I don't hate. Design jobs are restricted to sell-out advertising agencies and a handful of publication houses in Pakistan. Also since design is a widely undervalued field in Pakistan, the monetary aspects of it can seem bleak at times. I was lucky enough to start out with a bright, upcoming web design agency as a web designer, after which I took a hiatus for a year to accept an offer to teach at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture as an assistant professor and visiting faculty.”
It's not hard to believe that our similarities in design are also reflected in the way designers are inspired by their respective countries.
“Culturally we have a lot of inspiration ranging from truck art, to intricate textile work and Mughal architecture.
For my designs for Taxi Fabric, I have picked up on hand gestures and geometric patterns common or unique to both cultures and religions such as a dua or namaste and amalgamated them into a visual collage around a sea scape.”, further elaborates Samya on her design.
We finally asked Samya what role design can play in bringing the nations together. To which she had this to say,
“A project such as Taxi Fabric allowed me as a Pakistani to work with a bunch of brilliant and talented people from India, which otherwise would've hardly been possible. It also showed me how we are very much the same people culturally and otherwise. Design can help people understand and communicate with each other better, while feelings and thoughts can be conveyed in an aesthetically pleasing manner.”