Vacation not a holiday
18th January 2018

My First Arcsoc: A ‘Doubled Glazed’ Review


As a fresher architecture student, my first few weeks at Cambridge have been rewarding but admittedly confusing. Having already been scolded by my DoS for not wearing dungarees to a supervision and failing to complete my summer assignment of adopting a double-barrelled surname, I am still getting to grips with what it takes to succeed as an architect.

I thought a healthy way to pursue my interests would be to find fulfilling extracurricular activities. Amazingly, a few days ago I found out about an event run by the university’s architecture society, known as “Arcsoc” for short. Brilliant! Finally I could attend a forum of like-minded students and academics where we would eruditely discuss the beguiling world of architecture. The event was called “Double Glazed” and I quickly bought a ticket, excited for a scintillating evening dedicated to the fascinating world of reinforced windows.

I knew something was wrong as soon as I arrived at the venue known as ‘Fez’. It turns out “Double Glazed” was in fact a thematic homage to a recent viral story concerning a woman getting trapped in a window trying to retrieve her own faeces. Needless to say, the layout of the room was somewhat nauseating. Looking for friendly faces, I caught the eye of fellow student Hans von Bundesliga Berghain III who was standing at the bar. He walked over wearing a black T-shirt and nothing else bar a thin layer of sparkly glitter over his genitals and introduced me to his friend whose legal name was “New Balance”. In an attempt to be conversational, I asked “New Balance” whether she preferred Baroque or Classical architecture, to which she replied “Yeah, you’re right, I think far too many people are taking gap years in South America these days. That’s why I went to Syria man. Lush vibes, LUSH vibes.”

The music that they played over the course of the event was somewhat puzzling too. Whilst I think it is important to embrace new cultural forms, I really struggled to enjoy DJ //>>>~~@///’s crushing German techno that had been interspersed with the sound of Theresa May coughing. Other hits included a 3 hour remix of a North Korean news bulletin, the theme song from the Archers on Radio 4 and one tune that’s fondly known as “The sound of jizz”. I have now lost 75% of my hearing and my doctor tells me the night terrors might never stop.

Foolishly in hindsight, I’d also brought an architectural model that I thought I could exhibit to other Arcsoc members. Setting it out for people to see, a bearded student dressed in a binbag with the “Supreme” logo across it yelled “is that thing made of ket?” and proceeded to lick it, telling me that he was “kinda buzzed but everyone knows Oslo clubs have the best lickable ket sculptures”.

Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be attending Arcsoc again anytime soon and it looks like I’ll have to change my approach in order to succeed amongst my peers. I thought they were joking when the course requirements page said they expected people to have “a history of ayahuasca usage and cool glasses”. On the bright side, my DoS has promised to take me for a night out at the “Adonian Society” – I’ve never heard of it but it should be fun.

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