Mumbai is a magnetic epicentre where artists and dreamers converge. Its heart pulsates with culture, complexity, colour and creativity. India’s vivacious urban showpiece is also home to Pearl Academy. “#Mumbai by Design” is an expression of gratitude for our fellow Mumbaikars, a love note we crafted for the familiar sights, streets-corners and vital elements which compose Mumbai and deserve celebration.

We kickstarted our movement with high voltage colour- rainbow buckets of acrylic paint, a bountiful selection of paintbrushes and fresh white canvases that invited Mumbai to come in and leave messages of gratitude and inspiration. Pearl Academy partnered with I❤mumbai foundation, an NGO actively uplifting the city.. An incredible event called #Artists by Design launched on 6th and 7th May in Bandra and Dadar! People from all walks of life joined hands to cocreate paintings for the public establishments of Mumbai- the Hospitals, Police Stations & BMC offices.

Mumbai is packed with famous street food joints and eateries notorious for star attractions. These low budget joints are extremely popular, yet hygiene remains an issue for street food vendors. Pearl decided to honor these vendors through our Foodies by Design initiative. We designed fun, illustrated apron for these vendors to help them stand out in a crowd and sell their wares better. We narrowed down on several famous eateries around the city and approached vendors with our specially designed aprons as gifts. They were warmly accepted by everyone who received them!

Also, tonnes of waste generated daily in India in 2011-12, Mumbai alone accounted for 6.11 %. This is heartbreaking! Mumbai deserves better than to be buried under a trash and scoffed at for poor hygiene! We decided to kill two birds with one creative stone through #Responsible by Design. We installed trashcans at as many major eating points as we could find. These bins bear eye catching illustrations and the simple message of “Ikde Taka” or “Put it here” to command people to pay attention to garbage disposal sites and use them!

Our #Heroes by Design initiative was tribute to Mumbai’s Dabbawallas. Mumbai wouldn’t be the same with their friendly deliveries and home-cooked meals. We recognised that Dabbawallas experience discomfort from balancing food boxes on their head. Pearl Academy lined the hats of Dabbawalas with a sponge inside it to help ease their heavy load. On May 10th we brought smiles to the faces of many lunch box carriers across the city by making their day a little bit more comfortable.

What else could be a better culmination but Pearl Academy’s annual graduating event – Portfolio where, the unsung heroes of Mumbai walked the ramp for us styled in total Mumbaiya accessories. Crowds cheering and applauding to these heroes set the perfect tone of for the finale of #MumbaiByDesign

#Mumbai by Design was created to show how design thinking could reimagine the world to make it a better place. Our initiative proves that art spreads light and has a positive impact in our communities. Pearl Academy believes that great design is pointless when it isn’t applied into making what we love, better.

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