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Marianne is honored to represent The University of Notre Dame's School of Architecture in the University's "What Would You Fight For?" campaign on NBC.

Fighting to Design a Better Home

As a nation we are unprepared to address both the short and long term needs of those who lose their homes to natural disasters. Since 2005, Notre Dame School of Architecture alumnus and Distinguished Adjunct Professor Marianne Cusato has been working to design housing solutions to meet these needs.

Marianne's alternative to the FEMA trailer, the award-winning Katrina Cottage, led Congress to appropriate $400 million for an Alternative Housing Pilot Program, which resulted in the construction of over 3000 homes along the Gulf Coast.


Marianne is working with Clayton Homes, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, to develop modular housing solutions that can be implemented to help rebuild after natural disasters. Her designs were among those selected by Rebuilding Union Beach, founded by local city government to rebuild their town after Superstorm Sandy. This demonstration project incorporates a variety of modular homes of modest size built for storm victims with limited funds. Rebuilding Union Beach was jointly funded by the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and The Robin Hood Foundation Relief Fund.


If you would like to support Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts, donations can be made to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

This work illustrates the mission of Notre Dame's School of Architecture, which is to fight for a more beautiful, dignified, and sustainable world by educating students to strive to have a lasting impact on the lives of others through the built environment. Learn more about the University of Notre Dame's School of Architecture.



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