‘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.


29 January 2011 14.00–17.00h
With projects by Paul Elliman , Doris Denekamp and others

Discussion with artists and designers of GDR balcony projects

GDR presented the first TOWN MEETING, ‘Balcony Openings’, inaugurating two recent growths off of the GDR apartment space.

The last months of 2010 saw the quiet and gradual production of new interior/exterior extensions to GDR that intervene in the apartment’s ‘look-out’ points:

  • We were here, by London-based artist and researcher, Paul Elliman (in collaboration with Amsterdam-based graphic designer Na Kim, artist and gardener Hans van Lunteren and ecologist and gardener Rob van de Steen), is an installation of public information panels mapping visible plant matter from the front and back balcony views,

  • MEAL MACHINE, by Rotterdam-based artist and current Dutch Art Institute student Doris Denekamp (in collaboration with artist/architect, Arend Groosman) is a greenhouse device constructed from open source techniques which will produce menus and coordinate new social rituals around its cycles.

These extensions expand space and site, challenge and reify interior/exterior and open up material and imaginative possibilities for further actions and contemplation of the domestic sphere. The manifestations will be inaugurated on 29 January 2011. We welcomed all to join us and the artists for light afternoon refreshments to toast this occasion.


'What is still interesting about housework?'

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



If you don’t have enough space for a proper compost heap, you can build your own Wormery or Vermicomposting system. For the Casco balcony I use two mayonnaise buckets which I collected at the local cafetaria. Look for two buckets who can sit into each other in such a way that the lower bucket forms a reservoir.

Drill holes in the bottom of the upper bucket. In this way the liquid which forms 80-90% of our kitchen waste can escape. This leachate will collect in the lower bucket. You can use the leachate to fertilize your plants if you water it down ten times.

Drill some holes in the upper part of the bucket as well for ventilation.

Now connect a tap to the wall of the lower bucket. This is used to tap the leachate. I found a perfect tap at the local hardware store. It is called ‘garden hose connector tap’:

Cut a hole in the lower part of the buckets side. Due to the rubber rings the tap will close water tight.

The structure is ready. Now cover the bottom of the upper bucket with pieces of cardboard, small branches, torn newspaper or hay. This layer has to be 5 centimeters thick and very loose. Sprinkle this layer with water until it is 70% wet.

On top of this layer you put a layer of compost with worms. You need the ‘tiger worms’, worms that live in compost heaps. I will try to bring them tomorrow from my own compost heap in Rotterdam. You will need a few hundreds of them, but I trust my worm family will take care of that themselves.

Leave the Wormery for one week in order to give the worms time to settle themselves in their new home. After one week you can start with adding some kitchen waste. Don’t put large quantities and not too much of the same thing. Worms like diversity. The eat coffee, teabags, peals.. They don’t like bread, meat, fish and citrus peels.

Empty the leachate reservoir regularly. To harvest the worm compost, you have to remove the upper layer of fresh kitchen waste. Then remove the compost layer where the worms are in, and keep this apart. On the bottom of the bucket will be a layer of dark crumbly worm compost. Distribute it to your plants or store it in a spare bucket for later use. To start the process again, add a new bottom layer of cardboard an put the worms back in.

Put the bucket on a place protected from the sun and free from frost. I will keep the Wormery for now in the storage room. The Wormery will not smell unless it is too wet, than add some dry material like sawdust. Take care the compost doesn’t get too dry, because the worms will die.

15 December 2010, 13.57 — posted by Doris