The Furniture Is the Message

This article, "In Debates, the Furniture Is the Message," from The New York Times makes an interesting point about how set design can influence the substance of a political debate. While the article explores sitting versus standing, backgrounds, etc., it doesn't talk about why we expect debates to be structured in this format in the first place. What if there were no podiums or tables at all? What if candidates sat on couches? Or cushions on the floor? What if there was no moderator? Or many moderators? Or everyday people as moderators? It is an interesting article, but it doesn't challenge any of our fundamental assumptions about the way we're used to seeing candidates on our TV screens.