Taft Love: A Participatory Design Movement

Taft Love is a participatory design movement, inspiring urban livability for Taft Avenue, Manila. Taft Love fosters community stakeholder participation in the design of innovative solutions to social changes. We see ourselves as one of the stakeholders empowered to contribute and facilitate innovation.


“Taft Avenue could never have been Manila’s Fifth Avenue. In its day, its urban feel was as if it was Manila’s more intimately and modestly scaled version of the Champs Elysees in Paris. Taft was a Grand Boulevard in every sense of the word. It had the ingredients of a great urban space: monumentality heightened by pockets of intimacy, sweeping axial views, and most of all, a collection of architecture which could only be found in Manila and in no other city of the world. It was a landmark. Thankfully, the Burnham vision for Taft Avenue was allowed to exist for a while, at least, until our generation finally choked Taft with visual and environmental pollution. The avenue could have been among the most marvelous of urban spaces that we in Manila could have proudly shared with each other and the world. Taft Avenue is no more.”

– Augusto F. Villalobo


Jeepneys and their distinct route signs course daily through Taft Avenue, serving residents and students alike. The Taft Love logo was developed in collaboration with “Pancy Letter”, an urban-type project by Carl Graham, to create a visual familiar to Taft’s daily inhabitants. “Sign art” is a dying art form with only a few practitioners left to conduct their business on Manila’s streets.

Enough Tough Love – It's Time for Taft Love

Taft Love as featured in The Design Thinking Issue of Blu Print Magazine Philippines

Design Thinking Workshops

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde has spearheaded the movement by inviting facilitators from OXD Experience Design (SG) to introduce the faculty to Design Thinking, allowing us to work effectively with the residents and LGU’s of our community.

The MNL 'Ermita' Limited-Edition Snapback



To launch the movement and raise funds, we collaborated with WIP Caps to create limited edition Taft Love snapbacks as part of their MNL District series. The series was largely popularized by the emcees of FlipTop – currently the largest rap battle league in the world by YouTube views and movement followed by both students and masses. The choice to develop a cap thru an urban channel highly influenced by hiphop culture was brought about  by the need to bridge the gap between the university students in the area and the local community.

They key to the launch of the movement is to create a culminating event featuring representatives of each neighborhood and sub-movements in the spirit of community-building.
The MNL ‘Ermita’ Snapback as sold on the WIP Caps website.

The cap on display at major sports shops and streetwear stores.

Vito Crew’ logo by Martin Santos; ‘Vito Crew Tour’ logo by The Kid Ninja.

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