‘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.


• Jean-Luc Nancy, Being Singular Plural, Stanford University Press, 2000

• Roland Barthes, Comment Vivre Ensemble. European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Culture, Columbia University Press

• Jean-Luc Nancy, The Inoperative Community, University of Minnesota, 1991

• Haegue Yang, Condensation, Arts Council Korea, Seoul and Wiens Verlag Berlin, 2009

• Grant Watson, Gerrie van Noord & Gavin Everall, Making Everything New- A Projecton Communism, Bookworks/Projects Arts Centre, 2006

• Haegue Yang, Community of Absence, Revolver, Archiv für Aktuelle Kunst, 2007

• Maurice Blanchot, La Communauté Inavouable, Editions de Minuit, 1983

Haegue Yang, Asymmetric Equality, Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 2008

Kollektive Kreativität (Collective Creativity), Kunsthalle Fridericianum, 2005

Haegue Yang, Sonderfarben, Wiens, 2001

Ana Dzokic, Marc Neelen and Marjetica Potrc, Fruit and Energy: Farms at a public square

Anne Shaw and Carole Reeves, The Children of Craig- Y- Nos, : Life in a Welsh Tuberculosis Sanatorium, 1922-1959, ‪University College London, 2009

Grant H. Kester, Conversation Pieces: Community + Communication in Modern Art, University of California Press , 2004

An Architektur, Issue Nr. 10, Detotalized Forms of Encounter, Interview with Joseph Vogl

Common Room Circular, New Practices New York 2008

Common Room Circular 2, Common Room presents Dexter Sinister presents Common Room

Common Room Circular 3, Lower Mnhattan Cultural Council Lentspace Late Edition

Common Room Circular 4, Public School for Architecture New York, Fall 2009

Common Room Exhibitions, Universal fitings, Rey Akdogan; Making Room for Redundacy; Area of Detail, Lize Mogel; Form Groups, IFAU & Jesko Fezer.

Dani Gal, Chanting Down Babylon, Argobooks, 2009

Ursula Biemann, been there and back to nowhere, b_books berlin, 2000


Cup of tea no. #5 Elbert Hogendoorn, Secretary of the Utrecht beekeepers association (weekdays he works for the State Institute for Public Health.)

Waiting for the Honey...

Domestic bees filling honey cells, as seen through the 'looking glass' beehive

I went to visit Elbert while he was giving a demonstration about beekeeping at the orchard de Groen Ham in Haarzuilens (a burb of Utrecht, 5 km west of the GDR flat). Over cups of cordial and tea, Elbert enlightened me about the honey geography of Utrecht. I told him about how I’m trying to find an urban honey source, preferably lime flower in the city. Elbert informs me that there are small-scale beekeepers in Utrecht who keep hives on their balconies and roofs, as well as hives that are maintained for educational purposes. But all the beekeepers are, at this point, waiting the next batch of honey. Given Utrecht’s predominance of lime trees which are all blossoming right this very moment, this next inner city harvest will contain an inevitably high percentage of lime flower honey. In the past Elbert had tried to exploit the lime flower along Utrecht’s longest lime tree avenue (the Maliebaan) by asking the nuns to put his hives in their neighbouring convent garden.

Elbert Hogendoorn with an 'observation hive' showing the domestic hierarchy of bees

Beekeeping is touted by the Utrecht beekeeping association as a life skill, they give courses which sets one in good stead as a beginner beekeeper. An interesting reference I came across recently to the propriety of beekeeping as a life skill and also to Elbert;s anecdote of keeping the hives in a convent garden: which was a convent-run school for girls in Buckinghamshire offering beekeeping courses as a ‘homecraft’ by. Beekeeping may have been especially attractive during this period of wartime shortage. (Source: Bee, by Claire Preston).

26 June 2010, 22.19 — posted by Wietske