The Self Is Not Enough

Wednesday 3 June 2020, 6:30pm EDT

A virtual benefit and dialogue convened by

Giovanna Borasi, Stephen Bronfman, Barry Campbell, Isabelle Jomphe, Bruce Kuwabara, Phyllis Lambert, Peter Letko, Nadia Moretto Sela, and Constance Raymond

to celebrate the Canadian Centre for Architecture

The Self Is Not Enough is an opportunity to come together to recognize the CCA’s community of supporters: you. It is a private, remote benefit to renew and extend our collective focus, and to start reshaping our individualism toward a shared future. Instead of the usual cocktail tables, this year, we gather around thoughts.

How to join us for the event

We’ll be in touch the morning of the event with your personal link to join the conversation.

If you’re having trouble, you can also use this link:
Password: soiree2020

For questions

Please contact us at with any technical questions.
If you need more information about your event registration, please contact Elizabeth White


The program (75 minutes) for the evening includes:

-A clip from our documentary On My Own, which addresses the rise in people living alone. We’re in post-production right now, so you’ll be the first to see the footage. This is the second documentary we’ve produced on key changes defining contemporary living conditions, following What It Takes To Make a Home, on homelessness.

-Situation reports from Tokyo, Japan (by Kayoko Ota); Buenos Aires, Argentina (by Martin Huberman); Kampala, Uganda (by Doreen Adengo); and Vicenza, Italy (by Guido Beltramini)—because we always think a North American perspective is not enough.

-Communiqués from the international teenagers participating in our project “Is There An Expert In The Room—Aged 13–16?,” on what they don’t want to come back to normal.

-An interview with Berlin-based architect Sam Chermayeff, on how he envisions shared and collective spaces. (Read what Niklas Maak discovers about the end of the nuclear family in Germany.)

-A discussion about social infrastructure with critical New York–based sociologist Eric Klinenberg. (Read Klinenberg on why social distancing needs social solidarity), and Jia Tolentino on mutual aid.)

-A conversation between architect and robot inventor Greg Lynn and tech visionary Nicholas Negroponte on future priorities for architectural practice, and possible roles for technology. (Watch Nicholas reflect on the last 30 years of future technology.)

A few conversation starters

We’ve found Paul Preciado’s brilliant analysis of lessons from the virus and six questions posed by Bruno Latour (also in French) to be especially helpful in framing our thinking for the evening’s conversations and beyond. We are also rediscovering older CCA projects with fresh eyes and urgency, like Hilary Sample’s essay revealing the public health rules that shape cities, commissioned in 2012 for the project Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture.

A selection of cocktails by artist Nicolas Fonseca

Spending a lot of time with yourself means discovering several sides of yourself. Here are three cocktails to suit different states.

A. Keep it simple

If you are feeling overworked or have been talking to yourself too often, then simple is best: a special bottle of champagne or a funky Pét-Nat.
You can also turn your glass of bubbly into a cocktail—add an ounce of gin, a dash of lemon juice, and a few drops of simple syrup for a French 75. Pour the ingredients directly into your three-quarters-full glass and give it a quick stir with your pinkie.

Can’t find a crystal Marie Antoinette coupe? Try a porcelain tea cup. Had an especially bad day? Swap the champagne for mezcal; pour it continuously for five seconds.

B. I like projects

If dressing up for tonight’s special computer date is the highlight of your week, then you might as well turn it into a thing.

For a fresh option, try a Cococucumber. The alcohol is optional. For a batch, you’ll need:
-4 cups coconut water
-2 thinly sliced cucumbers
-½ cup lime juice
-½ cup herbaceous simple syrup (instructions below)
-two handfuls fresh-cut herbs
-a fresh jalapeño (optional)
-sugar-and-salt mix, for the rim
-ice -tequila (optional)

It’s best to prepare the herbaceous simple syrup the day before, if you can. To make the syrup, boil a cup of water and a cup of sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, throw in a big handful of your favorite fresh herb (basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, tarragon, or even bay leaves). Boil for 60 seconds and remove from heat. Let the syrup cool, strain out the leaves, pour into a glass container, and refrigerate.

For the cocktail, combine the coconut water, cucumber, lime juice, and syrup with a handful of clean, fresh herbs of your choice and let chill for an hour or two. If you’re into heat, chop up the jalapeño and add it to the batch mix; have a taste from time to time, and remove the chopped peppers when you find the mix has built up enough spice. If you want only light heat, throw the chopped jalapeño in your glass at the last minute.

A highball or rocks glass works well for this cocktail. Wet the rim of the glass with a lime wedge and dunk it in a mix of sugar and salt for a nice crust. Start with two or three rocks of ice in the glass, add 1½ ounces of tequila (if desired), and top off with the cocktail mix. Stir and drink.

C. The family affair

If something out of the ordinary for the whole family is in order, then you may enjoy this cocoloco cocktail. This drink plays with colors and textures and has retro appeal for the kids.

For one drink:
-1 ounce sweet cream of coconut
-1 ounce heavy cream
-1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
-4 ounces Aranciata, Chinotto, or ginger beer of your choice
-A pinch of nutmeg, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine the coconut cream, heavy cream, and pineapple juice. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake well. Pour the soda into a chilled, ice-filled Collins glass. (At this point, parents are invited to spike their glasses with an ounce of clear rum.) Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Pour slowly, allowing the two distinct textures to melt over one another. Garnish with the nutmeg.


Produced by the Canadian Centre for Architecture
Concept by Giovanna Borasi, Lev Bratishenko, Sophie Couture, and Sarah Koch-Schulte

Cocktail artist: Nicolas Fonseca

Associate producer: Sophie Couture
Director and live broadcast: Ian Cameron

Research and content ideas: Lev Bratishenko, Megan Marin, and Ushma Thakrar
Copywriter and editor: Jayne Kelley

Graphic designer: Jonathan Hares
Motion designer: Sarah Ouellet
Web design and programming: Principal Studio
Sound design: James Benjamin (Breakglass Studios)

Technical supervisor: Jim Bell
Production coordinator and assistant director: Camille Lavallée Prairie
Production coordinator: Dominique Myrand

With special thanks to our guests and speakers:

Doreen Adengo, Guido Beltramini, Sam Chermayeff, Paul C. Genest, Hazel Grover, Jonathan Guerrera, Salvatore Guerrera, Martin Huberman, Amalia Idenburg-Liu, Eric Klinenberg, Greg Lynn, Lauren McDonald, Nicholas Negroponte, Kayoko Ota, Ira Puri, Ina Udier

And to our special at-home soirée development committee:

Giovanna Borasi, Stephen Bronfman, Barry Campbell, Isabelle Jomphe, Bruce Kuwabara, Phyllis Lambert, Peter Letko, Nadia Moretto Sela, Constance Raymond
with Olfa Driss, Sarah Koch-Schulte, Gaëlle Lemasson, and Elizabeth White

And to the CCA Board of Trustees as well for supporting this initiative

And to our team:

Julia Albani, Sandra Bagaria, Matthieu Brouillard, Marc-André Champagne, Justine Chassé-Dumont, Andréanne Chevalier, Christine Dalle-Vedove, Matthew De Santis, Martien de Vletter, Bun Ek, Gregory Emmanuel, Albert Ferré, Francesco Garutti, Luc Hamel, Émilie Hamou, Iro Kalargyrou, Phyllis Lambert, Julie-Anne Leclerc, Claud Michaud, Roxanne Mongeau, Simon Patry, Céline Pereira, Genny Plumptre, and Rafico Ruiz


Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

This email was permanently deleted from our database. If you’d like to resubscribe with this email, please contact us

Please complete the form below to buy:
[Title of the book, authors]
ISBN: [ISBN of the book]
Price [Price of book]

First name
Last name
Address (line 1)
Address (line 2) (optional)
Postal code
Email address
Phone (day) (optional)

Thank you for placing an order. We will contact you shortly.

We’re not able to process your request at the moment. Please try again later.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least 2 weeks for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least 48 hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)