Empowering Airbrush Design for Social Innovation: Building a Micro-Community Based Creative Platform
Zhang, Frank Jing
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Airbrush is a mechanical painting tool using compressed air to spray paint onto various surfaces. Since its introduction with the first patent in 1876, commercial artists and illustrators applied its seamless color blending effects in a wide range of creative areas, and the medium reached its peak in popularity between the 1950s and late 1980s. Now, the medium is facing the challenge of being marginalized in the mainstream design industry due to the advancement of digital technology. To begin a critical inquiry of this situation, French art critic Nicolas Bourriauds concept of Relational Aesthetics will be the main theoretical reference for this thesis. Viewing the medium as a relational art form, this thesis connects Italian design theorist Ezio Manzinis Bottom-to-Top design methodology to facilitate the delivery of a community-based Airbrush Design platform. This platform will act as a catalyst to empower people to use the medium for social recognition and to mediate between individual (private) and institutional (public) spaces.