THE GRAND
DOMESTIC REVOLUTION

THE GRAND
DOMESTIC REVOLUTION

USER'S MANUAL

USER'S MANUAL

‘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.

LIBRARY

LIBRARY

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.

APARTMENT 18B

APARTMENT 18B

'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.

TOWN MEETINGS

IN AFFINITY

IN AFFINITY

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.

'The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON'

28 Oct – 16 Dec 2010
CHECK IN: 28 & 29 October 19.00-21.00; 30 October 15.00-17.00
'Read-in': 30 October 18.00-21.00
HOME CINEMA: 31 October 14.00-18.00
FORUM: 21 November 14.00-18.00
ACTION: 15 & 16 December 10.00-18.00
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'The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON' is a mid-way manifestation of ‘User’s Manual: The Grand Domestic Revolution (GDR), Casco’s long-term ‘living research’ project. GDR explores the potential of the domestic and private sphere as a locus for creating ‘the commons’ – a self-organised form of sharing both material and immaterial resources – by means of artistic, organisational and spatial design operations. The project is titled after a book by architectural historian Dolores Hayden on the late 19th century material feminist design movement in the United States that communalised the spaces of isolated domestic work; they built public kitchens, communal apartments, co-operative childcare facilities, organised their own working and living co-operatives and were involved with town planning. GDR recalls this multi-faceted social movement, and by means of action research, artistic investigations, theory and design/architectural practice, searches for other forms of living that subvert capitalist organizations of society.

What began as a year long project in October 2009 will continue, culminating in an exhibition and publication in October 2011 that will share its research outcomes and potentially act as a catalyst for further projects. An apartment rented as the headquarters of the project continues to be available for residency and visit.

GDR GOES ON is conceived as a reflection of the major activities and investigations developed thus far by articulating key questions through public discussions in different formats. It consists of CHECK IN, a series of events over three days, 'Read-in' a collective activity organised by an ongoing reading group, HOME CINEMA, a screening event at the GDR apartment, FORUM 'Dwelling in the Commons' and the neighbourhood ACTION ‘Turn-Key Home/Two in One’?. MIDTERM MANUAL also accompanies GDR GOES ON.

At a time when the support structures in our lives, such as housing, care systems and ‘privacy’ are absorbed into capitalist operations and become increasingly precarious, GDR proposes to investigate possibilities of other forms of living together.


‘User’s Manual: The Grand Domestic Revolution’ is conceived as Casco’s contribution to ‘Utrecht Manifest–Biennial for Social Design’.


NOTES

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

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