As someone who grew up and studied in Manila, Mark Wesley Pahate had a well of experiences to draw from for the bike racks he designed for the city as part of Allianz PNB Life’s Ride Safe campaign. It is an initiative that advocates for sustainable mobility by promoting the use of the bicycle as a solution to the mobility problem brought by the pandemic.
With the overall theme, “reminiscences of Manila”, Pahate took inspiration from the city, which he described as unique for its history, texture, diversity, and energy.
The result are four bike racks creatively crafted to reflect the environment for which they were placed — “Tabak” at the Kartilya ng Katipunan, “Maya” at the Liwasang Bonifacio, “Alon” at Rajah Sulayman Park, and “Kalesa” at Plaza Roma in Intramuros.
“The kalesas we saw more often before, the Mayas around our churches and school grounds, our school lessons telling us about the son of Tondo, Andres Bonifacio, and of course, Manila Bay sunsets and breakwaters of Roxas Boulevard. Growing up, those were some fond memories that we have been given an opportunity to be reminded of,” shared Pahate, who finished high school at San Beda University and took up Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He now runs his own boutique agency, Eggshell Worldwide Communications.
He added that “we’ve given those memories renewed purpose.”
“We hope to elicit a few more fond recollections from Manileños who visit them,” Pahate said.
Asked about combining form and function for projects such as the bike racks, he pointed out that, as designers, they have been instilled with the discipline to make function more pleasing.
“Addressing the function is the requirement, but the art makes it more enjoyable for people who would interact with it. So both get equal consideration unless the client points us to a more specific direction in terms of priority,” he said.
He noted that sustainability has become a popular advocacy for many companies because people have recognized its urgency, and creative agencies can help in getting the public’s attention and support for their projects.
“There are many ways to help. Many pieces to this puzzle. Find yours. Creatives can also help with that. Finding your own way to help is the first big step,” he said.