‘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.


An essential companion for engaging with transformative, cross-disciplinary, collaborative (art) practices!

Editors: Binna Choi and Maiko Tanaka
Contributors include: Silvia Federici, Katherine Gibson and Jenny Cameron, Christina Kiaer, Doina Petrescu, and Marina Vishmidt
Design: Åbäke
Co-publisher: Valiz, Amsterdam
336 pages, 32 x 24 cm, softcover
€ 29,90

The Grand Domestic Revolution Handbook is a compendium of living research developed by artists, designers, theorists, neighbors, and activists who investigate and expand the status of the home outside the narrow lens of private concerns. Inhabiting the structure of a 1960s home economics design manual, the handbook offers numerous entries that include case studies, project documentation, ephemera, analysis, and theory in the form of artistic, collective, and spatial design operations. Woven throughout the five chapters as key categories— Domestic Apparatus, Inhabitation, Work at Home, Economy to Oikos, and Neighboring and Organizing— the collection of texts and images constitutes a diverse and sometimes conflicting tapestry of domestic tactics, apparatuses of disruption, and political entanglements to spark your imagination and catalyze your own GDR practices.

The Grand Domestic Revolution Handbook develops from the Grand Domestic Revolution (GDR) project at Casco — Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht, the Netherlands, which still evolves in various forms, including tours and offshoots under the moniker GDR GOES ON. Informed by the late nineteenth-century material feminist views on domestic labor and their practices and proposals for spatial, architectural, and urban design that “socialized” an invisible layer of domestic activities, GDR re-valorizes the reproductive sphere of our activities and investigates existing domestic regimes.

In the interest of (in)forming society from the very inner but common sphere of the domestic realm, GDR brings together relations and tools forged between the private and public spheres, and across multiple fields. The handbook is presented as an essential companion for this movement. Whether you are a flexible worker, domestic worker, house husband, elderly caregiver, mother, activist, or student intern, we encourage you to take this book as an evocative and useful resource for an artistic, political, social, or personal “revolution” from the very place where you live and work! 

Åbäke, Ask! (Actie Schone Kunsten), Agency, Sepake Angiama and Sam Causer, Matthijs de Bruijne, Ruth Buchanan, Doris Denekamp and Arend Groosman,Domestic Workers Netherlands/ FNV Bondgenoten, Domestic Worker Photographer Network, Paul Elliman with Na Kim, Hans van Lunteren, and Rob van de Steen, Andrea Francke, ifau and Jesko Fezer,Nazima Kadir, Graziela Kunsch with Vincent Wittenberg, Jort van der Laan, Chris Lee, Wietske Maas,Elsa-Louise Manceaux, Travis Meinolf, Emilio Moreno, Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, Christian Nyampeta, Maria Pask, Our Autonomous Life?, Katayoun Arian, Priscilla Desert, Anja Groten, Klaar van der Lippe, Bart Stuart, Mariska Versantvoort,Maiko Tanaka, Read-in, Katerina Seda, Patricia Sousa, Xu Tan, Mirjam Thomann, Marina Vishmidt, Werker Magazine

In addition to local events, the books will be launched during talks and gatherings at several other venues during the following occasions: 19 Oct at International Biennale Interieur 2014, Kortrijk, Belgium; 25-27 Oct at Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China; 23 Nov at Power Station of Art, Shanghai; 9 Dec at The Showroom, London; 12 Dec at Pro qm, Berlin during the Berlin Art Book Fair; and 13 Dec at Art Metropole, Toronto. We close this celebratory series of launches with a holiday dinner at Casco on 18 December, 18:00. Please contact Yolande van der Heide at for more information.

Order this slow-cooked, elaborate Grand Domestic Revolution Handbook now via our webshop to your home where the revolution might carry on.




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