‘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.


examples of money issued in Surinam (1760-1827), Spain (1938), The Netherlands (1574) and France (1711 and 1713)

History of money has been continuously affected by moments of scarcity that have forced communities to push their creativity to the extremes in order to redefine the idea of value. My research is focused on historical cases of currency issues that exemplify the idea of money as an abstract concept in which value depends on trust.

We find the most heterodox cases of money issues throughout modern history around the World; from coins minted in pages of books in Holland, the validation of poker cards as their national currency in Suriname, the use of circles of cardboard with postage stamps stuck to them in Spain, to the use of pieces of paper backed by a wax seal in France. Particularly abundant are the post-war Germany notgeld issues or the Civil War period in Spain, where small municipalities, cooperatives and even small businesses issued up to 7000 different forms of money. All these cases underline how necessity fed creativity of communities in order to establish new parameters of agreement regarding the use of something as a medium of exchange, that is to say, necessity forced communities to rethink the idea of value and trust.

Theoreticians as Silvio Gesell have also contributed to the development of changes in perception of the established economic system. He presented his ideas on how to change the economic organization of society in “The Natural Economic Order” (1911). According to Gesell, freeing money from interest payments is a prerequisite in the movement towards “free money” (Freiwirtschaft), which would be the basis for social justice and welfare. During the Great Depression some experiments based on Gesell theories were conducted in Europe and the U.S. leading to very interesting results. One of the most striking cases was that of the Austrian town of Wörgl which, being in bankruptcy and with an unemployment rate of 75%, issued its own money based on principles such as the penalization of hoarding and speculation, and the acceleration of circulation. In a few months, the town emerged from bankruptcy, went back to a minimum unemployment rate and even developed infrastructure.

The mentioned historical examples of the Netherlands, Surinam, Spain, etc. represent, in my point of view, the formal precedents for a creative way of thinking that faces the fact that money is nothing more than an idea waiting to be redesigned according to circumstances. But if those cases would stand for the most formalist approach, experiments like Wörgl and others, are the ideological roots that complete what we now understand as alternative currencies. Nowadays, all these cases are particularly relevant as they remind us that the opportunity to redefine the concept of value is always present.

10 August 2010, 22.42 — posted by Emilio Moreno

The green papers contain: Process for Designing a Complementary Currency System by Stephan DeMeleuneaere.

You can find more information here


Robinsonade is an adaptation to comic of A History of Robinson Crusoe, a short story included in The Natural Economic Order written by Silvio Gesell in 1911. Gesell used the form of a short story in order to explain how it would work an economy avoiding interests.

Here you can see a homemade edition of that comic.

10 August 2010, 21.58 — posted by Emilio



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