‘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.


Helke Sander
film, 11 min
courtesy Deutsche Kinemathek Museum fur Film und Fernsehen

The black and white film NR. 1—AUS BERICHTEN DER WACH—UND PATROUILLENDIENSTE [From the Reports of Security Guards & Petrol Services No.1] by renowned German filmmaker Helke Sander recounts the following true story: with her two small children a mother climbs onto the arm of a construction crane and threatens to jump if no affordable housing is found for her before that evening.

installation view at De Rooie Rat

In its self-restrained visual simplicity and extremely dense treatment of duration, the film resonates a sense of urgency and articulates a desperate struggle for the most basic rights: housing and care. Although it was enacted individually, it becomes collective by means of the cinematic.

The film was presented in 2010 by Marina Vishmidt during her lecture in one of our dinner meetings at the GDR apartment. The full film is also available for view on Youtube here.

screen views

Locations: Volksbuurt Museum Themes: Domestic Space

All photos by Emilio Moreno unless stated otherwise


Balcony Openings

Back balcony view of 'We were here'

During the sunny afternoon of last Saturday, at the GDR apartment Doris Denekamp in collaboration with Arend Groosman presented their project MEAL MACHINE, and also We were here, a project by Paul Elliman in collaboration with graphic designer Na Kim, artist and gardener Hans van Lunteren and ecologist and gardener Rob van de Steen was presented.

The inner panel and graphic designer Na Kim presenting 'We were here'

Now it is possible to identify the plants from both front and back views of the apartment with ‘ We were here’ panels.

Interior view of 'MEAL MACHINE'

The 'Meal Machine' and one of the 'We were here' panels on the GDR balcony

Sometime in mid-Spring, a meal will be prepared with the plants that were sown in the presented hi-tech greenhouse – the MEAL MACHINE. Email us at to receive updates on the harvest date!

31 January 2011, 16.53 — posted by Casco