‘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.


Saturday 17 September 2011 15.00-18.00h
Casco, 213-215 Nieuwekade, Utrecht

With Ask!, Territorio Domestico, Konstanze Schmitt, Sarah van Walsum, Werker Magazine, Pilar de Bustos

Reverse graffiti isotype - drafts by artist Andreas Siekmann

GDR TOWN MEETING dedicates itself once more to the issue of domestic work, or more precisely, the national and international (migrant) domestic workers movement. The goal of this meeting is to provide a platform to learn and exchange on unique alliances and campaigns in support of domestic workers and in turn for all! We hope you will be able to join and participate with our local and international guests who are working on creative alliances between domestic worker and “art workers”. The meeting follows the reverse graffiti action of Ask! in Utrecht’s city centre. (See TAKE ACTION below for more information.)


  • Ask! (Actie Schone Kunsten) - an alliance of "art workers" and domestic workers - provides a tour of their “reverse graffiti” interventions in Utrecht depicting an union of domestic workers in action (in collaboration with Andreas Siekmann).

  • Berlin based artist Konstanze Schmitt and two members of the Madrid domestic labour activist group Territorio Domestico will present on their 2010 performance and campaign, ‘Triumph of the domestic workers’, in collaboration with Stefan Dillemuth.

  • Sarah van Walsum, Associate Professor in Migration Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, will provide insight from her research on the regulation of domestic labour in the Netherlands as a guest respondent for the event and group discussion.

  • Werker Magazine will present submissions for a political kitchen calendar that invites cultural workers and domestic workers to collectively rethink today’s living and working conditions.

  • Castellón based Architect, Pilar de Bustos on a workshop publication empowering housewives from 8 villages to research their own town histories

Reception and food to follow!


• You are invited to join Ask!’s “reverse graffiti” action, starting at 12pm from Casco. Berlin based artist Andreas Siekmann has embarked on creating isotypes for Ask! and the domestic workers campaign in the Netherlands. Its first use is towards making reverse graffiti interventions in dirty spots of our cities accompanied by the slogan “Respect and Recognition for Domestic Work”. With this slogan, we wanted to address not only our support for (migrant) domestic workers but also the question of our work outside of our work places.

• Please contribute to making a political kitchen calendar by sending images and texts which may serve well for rethinking our own conditions of domestic work and others outside of the typical worksphere! Contributions can be made online at the Werker Magazine website here.

TOWN MEETING SEPTEMBER is organized as part of the ‘The Grand Domestic Revolution – User’s Manual’ (GDR), a two year long “living research” project on the possibility of a domestic commons, developed by Casco - Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht. Two previous GDR TOWN MEETINGS held on 26 February and 26 March 2011, hosted domestic workers and cultural/art workers in discussion on shared concerns on the status and conditions of domestic work. These meetings also became the seed occasions for the formation of the group, Ask!

The event is free and anyone is welcome to join!
RSVP is appreciated (email us at, but not required.

Additional links:
• Interview: 'The Reproduction of Social Life' with Rebeca Pabon, FNV Domestic Worker Union Organiser
• Text: 'Self-negating Labour' A Spasmodic Chronology of Domestic Unwork, by Marina Vishmidt]]
• Facebook: Domestic Workers Netherlands

Please email us at for more information.


the urban homestead

This book ‘The Urban Homestead, your guide to self-sufficient living in the heart of the city’ by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen is a very use full manual for building on your urban homestead. It gives detailed, practical information on building chicken coops, grey water systems and even urban foraging and making your own cleaning liquids.

It is a very friendly written book which takes our contemporary lack of time into account. Often they propose a method for building one of the systems yourself of recycled materials and, if you have no time but you do have money, an address where you can buy a ready made version.

22 December 2010, 11.03 — posted by Doris