Lift off for drone graffiti

I've been running the Drone Graffiti blog the past three and half years documenting occurrences of graffiti made with drones. And with the recent development I though it was a good idea to do a status post on the phenomenon.

Even though the concept has caught on in wider and wider circles since I initially started the blog in 2013, the idea of combining the old school culture of graffiti with the new technology of consumer drones still seems novel and fresh to many. And with the latest development, 2017 is set to be a break through year for drone graffiti. 

Some background. The first attempts making graffiti with drones from 2013 to 2016, and some painting related art projects, are presented in this video:

So, what’s next?

Two major projects are set to add colours and expressions to our cities on a major scale soon, KATSU’s Icarus 2 and Carlo Ratti’s Paint by Drone project.

KATSU’s Icarus 2

The New York based street and media artist KATSU's Icarus 2 drone wrote it's first letters in January

While KATSU is still to deliver on the promise of open sourcing the new version of the Icarus with the letter writing extension, here's the recipe of making your own graffiti drone in the first version.

Carlo Ratti’s Paint by Drone project

Another major scale projet of using drone for graffiti and other types of vertical paint jobs beyond the near reach of the traditional artist's body is Italian based architect and design studio Carlo Ratti Associati, who recently released their plans for an entire system for multiple drones working in an app controlled system, called Paint by Drone.

So far the Paint by Drone project has been presented in a conceptual state, but the studio plans live events demonstrating it later this year in Berlin, Germany and Turin, Italy. And judging from the track-record of the MIT associated Carlo Ratti, it seems fair to place expectations somewhere up there with the drones. 

Stay updated on the latest development at

July 5, 2017
by Jesper Vestergaard
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