Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled the world’s first crowdsourced graffiti, designed by thousands of people and painted by a swarm of drones in the city of Torino, Italy. The UFO-Urban Flying Opera project was created by four UAVs flying simultaneously over two consecutive days. Each drone carried a tank of sustainable spray paint and sketched the individual designs on the canvas. The final painting was divided into three layers: a grey one to set the story, magenta one to represent Torino’s communities, and a light blue one to visually wrap the story.
The experiment in Torino’s Aurelio Peccei park represented the first time a swarm of drones was employed to create a collaborative piece of art on a vertical surface. A central management system controlled the UAVs’ behavior in real time, while a monitoring system tracked their precise location, allowing for movement coordination across the entire formation. The drone performance took place on June 25th and 26th, 2019, in a cathedral-like industrial structure that used to belong to Italian car manufacturer Iveco, part of the Italian Tech Week.
Project participants were invited to contribute visual content conveying their thoughts, hopes, and ideas regarding what cities should look like. More than a thousand people submitted their designs, out of which around 100 were selected in partnership with the University of Turin and the Polytechnic University of Turin. In total, the participants used about 620 meters (2,034 feet) of paint.
Promoted by Compagnia di San Paolo, ideated and curated by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, coordinated and produced by Fondazione LINKS, in collaboration with Tsuru Robotics
Photos by Andrea Guermani
Video by Actingout
CRA Design: Carlo Ratti, Antonio Atripaldi (project manager), Luca Giacolini, Chiara Morandini, Chiara Borghi, Andrea Galli, Alessandro Tassinari. CRA Make: Emanuele Rossetti, Alessandro Peretti Griva, Luca Cianfriglia. Scribit: Andrea Baldereschi, Federico Morando, Mahsa Borzoo