‘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.


Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism, Edited by Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford, Metropolis book, 2008

Charlie Hailey, Camps: a guide to 21st-century Space, MIT Press, 2009

Olafar Eliasson, Gustav Metzger, Hans Ulbrich Obrist, Barbara van der Linden, John Brockman and Wlater Konig, Experiment Marathon, Cologne, 2009

Gillian Darley, Villages of Vision, Five Leaves, 2006 Nicolas Bourriaud, Fabienne Bideau, Philippe Cuenat and Ildiko Dao, Utopics, Systems and Landmarks, JRP|Ringier, 2010

J. Penraat, Hoe wilt u wonen: werken voor nieuwe wooninrichting, N.V. UItgeversmaatschappij Kosmos Amsterdam/Antwerpen, 1957

Anri Sala, Why is colour better than grey?, CCA Kitakyuhu, 2004

Nav Haq, Concept Store- Possible, Probable and Preferable Futures, Arnolfini, 2009

Kari Conte, Jesse McKee, Florence Ostende and Lisa Marei Schmidt, Friends of the Divided Mind, Royal College of Art, London, 2009

Carme Nogueira, Prospera, Uks, 2009

Stephen Willats, Beyond the Plan: the transformation of personal space in housing, Wiley-Academy, 2001

Edited by Tom McDonough, The situationists and the city, Verso, 2009

Gerald Raunig, Art and Revolution: transveral Activism in the Long Twentieth Century, Semiotext(e), 2007

Cedric Price, Re:CP, Birkhauser, 2003

and so on... Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material, edited by Julie Ault, Four Corners Books,2010

Open City: Designing Coexistence, Tim Rieniets, Jennifer Siegler, Kees Christiaanse, SUN, 2009

Housing, Preservation and Development, Poems by Tom Savage, Cheap review Press, 1988

The Lower Manhattan Sign Project, Repo History, 1992

Bellgrove Station Billboard Project, Alan Dunn, 1991

Rianne Blekkenhorst. Pascalle Bonnier, Astrid Florentinus, Annicke van der Giessen, Maxime van Haeren, Marieke de Kan, Marloes Liebrand, Ingeborg Schavemaker, Marina Tadic, coordination by Annette Krauss, Creative Ingenuity - A research project upon art education, HKU & Casco, 2010

Palet Basisboek & Themakatern Helden, CKV voor de tweede fase, ThiemeMeulenhoff, 2007

Rob Riemen, De eeuwige terugkeer van het fascisme, Atlas, 2010

No Academy, NIeuwe Relaties, Laboratory fot Art & Society, 2010


GDR Diary 4: Out loud

I believe that, in a way, most of the GDR library’s documents can be read as possible approaches or tentative answers to the question that was mentioned in one of the earlier posts — how can a community of readers be transformed into a community of engaged, yet post-utopian individuals?

On the one hand, it seems that most of the texts that comprise the library share the underlying assumption that reacting towards specific emergencies is not sufficient; these authors (political activists, artists, architects, designers, art historians, writers and others) seem concerned with the redefinition itself of the structuring of space (here, following Lefebvre, conceived as a political, social, economic and physical construct), which presupposes a certain detachment vis-à-vis one’s own situatedness. I am thinking about books such as Democracy — A Project by Group Material (1999), Did Someone Say Participate?: An Atlas of Spatial Practice (2006), Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism (2008) and Make Everything New: A Project on Communism (2006), for example. But on the other, the subject of criticality is an individual, an embodied actor. As constrained, as busy, as alive as any of us.

Inspired by last week’s Read-In, I was reminded of this when reading parts of Dolores Hayden’s The Grand Domestic Revolution (1982), and decided to read the beginning of its introduction out loud as a way of reflecting on the materiality of the lives of the women whose struggles the book describes. My reading is imperfect, incomplete, unaccomplished: The Grand Domestic Revolution- Introduction Δ.

25 May 2010, 23.37 — posted by Mafalda