The Katrina Cottage is in the news again: it was recently announced as the winner of the People’s Choice at the annual Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards. The awards ceremony took place this past Wednesday at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s mansion in upper Manhattan.

For anyone who missed the Katrina Cottage the first time around, this cute little 300 square-foot house was designed by Marianne Cusato for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina. It’s about the same size and costs the same amount as the standard FEMA trailer (about $35,000), yet its livability, charm and ability to provide displaced people with a sense of “home” rather than just temporary shelter make it far more appealing than the soulless trailers currently provided by the government.

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The vernacular Katrina Cottage design idea was inspired by New Urbanist philosophy, and while we don’t always agree with some of the nostalgic tendencies of New Urbanism, we think the Katrina Cottage is a thoughtful, practical response to the social, psychological and physical needs of the displaced people of the Gulf Coast. And clearly the public seems to agree – as evidenced by this latest win at the People’s Choice Award. Congratulations to Marianne Cusato and the Katrina Cottage!

For those of you who are interested in ordering a Katrina Cottage, they will be available at select Lowes in the Gulf Coast region starting November 2006. For more information please see the Katrina cottage website >

+ Katrina Cottage

+ Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards

+ Katrina Cottage on Inhabitat

Cute beats cutting-edge