a new and improved sidewalk shed

This is a cool story from a few weeks ago about Young-Hwan Choi, an architecture student at the University of Pennsylvania who won a New York-sponsored design competition for devising the concept of an elegant, functional sidewalk shed: Changing Skyline: An umbrella for pedestrians.
On Jan. 21, Choi, 28, found himself in Lower Manhattan at his first American news conference, being introduced to the audience by a beaming Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Choi's concept for improving the humble sidewalk shed had just won a city-sponsored design competition, beating out 163 entries from around the world, most of them by accomplished architects. Even better than the $10,000 prize is New York's commitment to construct a full-size mock-up this summer, the first step to putting the design into production.
Not bad for a guy who just arrived in Philadelphia from South Korea last August. Choi's design beat out entries by accomplished architects from around the world. He apparently hadn't event seen a New York sidewalk shed when he decided to enter the competition. That's amazing.

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