‘The Grand Domestic Revolution—User’s Manual’ (GDR) investigates the domestic space and its (changing) use through a variety of methods and disciplines, traversing the fields of art, design, architecture, urban planning, activism and theory. A number of artists and other practitioners contribute to this endeavour. Residents from 2009-2011 include Sepake Angiama, Paul Elliman, and Doris Denekamp who utilized neighbourhood and online research to create prototypes and interventions around the theme of (Green) Cooperativsm. Wietske Maas and Travis Meinolf experimented with Home Production; while 'interor' infrastuctural interventions for the furniture, library and hallways were created by ifau & Jesko Fezer, Mirjam Thomann and Graziela Kunsch. Current themes and residents from February–October 2011 include Kyohei Sakaguchi and Kateřina Šedá who will each investigate forms of usership in architectures; home and housing rights with Maria Pask and Nazima Kadir; the question of invisible and domestic labour taken up by Werker Magazine; Agency will continue its deliberations on copyright issues of domestic THINGS (gardens and textiles); and keywords in relations to food service work will be workshopped with Xu Tan. Parallel to this, the Read-in activity continues. Initiated by artist Annette Krauss and theatre maker, Read-in is an open reading group inhabiting a different neighbour’s home for every session.



The GDR library constitutes the backbone of our ongoing ‘living research’ and thus grows over time. The library offers points of engagement with the project and consists of different research materials such as books, articles, images and DVDs (artist’s video, films) that are available for viewing when visiting the apartment. The first installment was done by the GDR team and was later adapted by Sao Paulo-based artist Graziela Kunsch who suggested that the GDR team create thematic selections.



'The Grand Domestic Revolution-User's Manual' is a long-term project developed as Casco’s contribution to 'Utrecht Manifest: Biennial for Social Design'. The project deals with the evolutionary and collaborative process of “living” research in the contemporary domestic and private sphere – particularly in relation to the spatial imagining (or the built environment). It aims at re-articulating while exercising the notions of the social, the public and, eventually, the commons.




Since August 2010, the GDR team have undertaken research in order to connect with the local neighbourhood on questions relating to peoples’ social conditions and material environments. Questionnaires, interviews, and conversations are the methods used to explore the themes and problems addressed in GDR, such as self-organised governance, co-operative living, and spatial organisation in and from the domestic sphere.

Dear GDR collaborators, neighbours, residents

hosts, critics, guests and supporters:

On behalf of the entire Casco team we wish to thank you for your contribution to and participation in the long-term living research project, ‘The Grand Domestic Revolution – User’s Manual’. It was inspiring and energising to critically examine, speculate on and enact with you the imaginative and political potential of the domestic sphere today through artistic, design, activist and theoretical approaches. The exhibition component of the project has since come to a close on February 26, 2012, (see documentation here), and we are now reflecting on what we did and working on various offshoots, tours and extensions, of which we'd like to update and share with you.

GDR A-Z by Abake

'The Grand Domestic Revolution' was indeed a significant endeavour for many of us and was, in fact, Casco’s most expansive project to date. It all began in October 2009 with the rental of the GDR apartment residency at Bemuurde Weerd 18B, where we initiated local research residencies, Home Cinemas, Thursday Night Dinners and attempted to investigate existing boundaries between the private and public sphere. We then co-developed various collective endeavours, built up artistic and architectural interventions and conducted local action research, culminating in the GDR GOES ON event series and corresponding publishing of the Midterm Manual in 2010.

In 2011, GDR extended into the monthly Town Meeting series, furthering collective formations and alignments beyond the cultural community, which, in turn, all lead up to the multi-site, multi-venue four-month Exhibition, opening on 5 November, 2011. Various activities such as the Read-in event series, Our Autonomous Life? sitcom screenings, as well as the GDR Digest finissage week, including the Futurist Writing School, and a procession of various action groups, meetings, performances, broadcasts, proposals and references, were performed through the duration and final week of the project exhibition.

We have received some press coverage on the exhibition in both Dutch and international media, such as the recent review in Frieze by Nick Aitkens but the response is still developing over an extensive period via different channels and moments. We will send another media update with the launch of the GDR Catalog. In the meantime, you can find all GDR press updates to date on Casco's online press page.

Since the closing of the exhibition the Casco team has been pursuing offshoots from the GDR projects with our evolving network of collaborators, including, Forum 'Let's Squat Something' which squatting movement, and the Spring exhibition project ‘I Can’t Work Like This’, or examining our working conditions in the permanent crisis of the neo-liberal economic regime, and for learning how workers from variant sectors can get effectively organised.

But 'The Grand Domestic Revolution' GOES ON and evolves in other contexts as well, such as with upcoming tours to The Showroom, UK and CCA London-Derry. The tours will coincide with the launch of the GDR Catalog in winter 2012/2013, a compendium of all the projects, activities and of the 2 year research period and 4 month exhibition in a "whole earth" catalogue-like form. Get in touch with us at if you would like to stay tuned as we continue on with the exercising 'the revolution'.

Many thanks for being part of the community of co-researchers in a generous structure of critical, artistic production embedded necessarily and unapologetically in the blurred boundaries crossing the private and public sphere. Let’s keep in touch and see how to continue expanding the knowledge, research and experimentations in imagining and activating different forms in society starting from our own home bases.

Best wishes,
Binna Choi & Maiko Tanaka
Curators, The Grand Domestic Revolution – User’s Manual


'Assembly (The Grand Domestic Revolution)'

Saturday 25 June 2011, 11.00-13.00h
Huis a/d Werf dressing room
Boorstraat 107, Utrecht

June Town Meeting - 'Assembly (The Grand Domestic Revolution)' took place at the Huis a/d Werf dressing room

For TOWN MEETING JUNE Agency speculated around the question: "How can textiles be included within art practices?"


6 July 2011, 11.03 — posted by Casco