An idea for a social intervention on campus:
1. The Scenario: It's campaign time, so people in matching t-shirts are everywhere, holding painted sheets and handing out fliers. Some people have gotten quite good at throwing fliers at me while I'm riding my bike, which I thought was near impossible. Clearly, there's no escaping this.
2. The Problem: In an effort to avoid being berated with fliers, cheesy slogans, and irrelevant campaign platform speeches, people plug into iPods, cell phones, feign craziness, or avoid campus plaza spaces all together. Social interaction in plaza spaces is averted, because anyone could be a campaigner.
3. The Solution: An anti-campaign campaign. A nothing campaign. I'm imagining a group of people in blank white shirts, holding up a blank white sheet, maybe even handing out blank pieces of paper. Perhaps people would be so confused, they'd snap out of their zombie-esque state and pay attention to their surroundings. Maybe they'd talk to someone who was stopped next to them, or even talk to the anti-campaigner.
When I was in Germany, I noticed some chalk writing around the city. The translation is "This is an ad-free space." Instead of white signs, they could say "campaign free space" or something.
Of course, this doesn't involve street furniture really. So, taking the idea of creating a "safe place" for people...maybe new plazas could be created. For instance, offer picnic blankets to people by a field. They borrow a blanket, go out and create their own plaza, then return the blanket when done. This could happen at the Simpson Drill Field or the plaza outside Langford.