‘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.

Are you bothered by NOISE FROM YOUR NEIGHBOUR?

Saturday 30 April 2011 (Queen's Day!) 13.00-17.00h
GDR apartment, Bemuurde Weerd o.z.18b. With Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere (New York) and Patricia Sousa (Rotterdam & DAI/Artez, Arnhem)

Diagram for a sound rally

This month's TOWN MEETING will be a crossing of sounds traversing the borders of interior and exterior space in and around the GDR apartment.


  • 13.00-17.00 A ‘sound souvenir exchange’ by Patricia Sousa (ongoing performance)
  • 14.00- 16.00 ’Broadcast 18B’ / domestic sound dispersal with Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere in conversation with specialists in sound and noise pollution.
  • Question 1:What sound does the domestic make?
  • Question 2: Is the space between domestic sound and noise pollution, a potential site of 'the commons?'
  • Question 3: Does sound have a social life?

For their GDR residency, Angel and Valerie have designed a set of acoustic extensions (or speaking trumpets) that penetrate the building’s facade. On the occasion of Queen’s Day, this new domestic infrastructure will be inaugurated with a broadcast on the politics of ‘listening in’. Using lo-fi and lo-tech amplification, music, anecdotes, recipes, situations, and sounds of the interior space of GDR will be exteriorised. This sound 'outervention' reverses the usual process of keeping domestic sounds in and exterior sounds out.

Highlights include:

• Conversations with our neighbours
Live testimonials on neighbourly noise and other stories

• ‘You have the right to remain silent’
Pre-recorded discussion with artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan (London, UK) on the voice in juridical space

• The "Kitchen Sessions”
Sounds and songs from the home

• 50, 45, 40 dB
A consultation on urban permissible noise levels with the Municipal Department of Environmental and Urban development/Permits, Utrecht

• Recipes for collective cooking
Food, coalition-building and domestic disasters

For TOWN MEETING APRIL, the 'speaking trumpets’ will broadcast the proceedings of the meeting, channeling toward Queen's Day flea market vendors, shoppers and passersby on the street and canal below.

Also, in the spirit of Queen's Day, Patricia Sousa will carry out a ‘sound souvenir exchange’ on the front steps of the apartment. Engaging with the Queen's Day public, Patricia will record and exchange sounds throughout the day, as a public moment for her GDR project, Radio 18B. The multiple sonic performances generated from the neighbourhood will form a collective soundscape—an imaginative alternative to the “prefabricated dreams” of lifestyle fetishism.
The recordings will also be broadcast periodically through the new 'apartment megaphones' above.
The event is free and anyone is welcome to join!
RSVP is appreciated (email us at, but not required.


28 May
“The Avant Garden and artistic (de)fence”

More Queen’s Day events in Utrecht

  • Check out the only 24-hour Queen’s Day flea market in the Netherlands

April 29, 18.00 to April 30, 18.00

To receive more information about this and future TOWN MEETINGs, please email us at


Seed Archive: research on urban homesteading and seed loans

Sunflower seeds at GDR

Nance Klehm is an urban homesteader and seed archivist. She founded the project Spontaneous Vegetation in which she organises a whole scale of activities like urban foraging walks and the building vermicomposting and humanmanure systems. One of her projects is a seed archive which connects to our own small GDR seed archive assembled by the seed swap organised by The Centre of Cooperative Living.

from her website:

''A public archive of healthy seeds collected from many places and people

Seeds are alive. Seeds need to be carefully stored in order to remain healthy and assure their germination. The seed archive is particularly interested in seed that is for food or medicinals, habitat creating as well as soil building. The archive only accepts, stores and loans viable, well-identified seeds.

The seed archive is housed in Chicago; seed is loaned for free to those who are committed to growing them, enjoying them and returning some of the next generation of seed back to store at the seed archive. Some seed is in smaller quantities and needs to be grown out from year to year to increase its supply. If you are interested in being a grower, let me know.''

13 December 2010, 23.09 — posted by Doris