Kristin Dispenza

Kristin Dispenza

Kristin graduated from The Ohio State University in 1988 with a B.S. in architecture and a minor in English literature. Afterward, she moved to Seattle, Washington, and began to work as a freelance design journalist, having regular assignments with Seattle’s Daily Journal of Commerce.

After returning to Ohio in 1995, her freelance activities expanded to include writing for trade publications and websites, as well as other forms of electronic media. In 2011, Kristin became the managing editor for

Kristin has been a features writer for since January 2010. Some of her articles include:

What Is Sustainable Forestry?

Tue, Mar 08, 2011

Reducing paper usage has been one of the most iconic and understandable of the green movement’s mandates. The intricacies of forest management have remained obscure to most of us, however,  although forest management is the real key to preserving woodland habitats as well as our wood supply. Most consumers now recognize that it is an eco-friendly choice to look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label on wood products, to guarantee that they are sustainably produced … but what does this label mean, exactly, and is there more to the story of sustainable forestry?

Dow Jones by STUDIOS Architecture

Mon, Mar 07, 2011

In 2007, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. acquired Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal. Within months, the announcement was made that the Wall Street Journal offices would be moving from their long-time home in the financial district to a building in midtown Manhattan, where News Corp. was based. The firm STUDIOS Architecture was hired to design the new space, which occupied 240,000 sq. ft. (22,297 m2) across five floors of a building located on the Avenue of the Americas.

House of the Month: Classic and Modern Architecture Collide in Austin

Tue, Feb 22, 2011

The Harris Boulevard House in Austin, Texas, provides a nice counterpoint to some of the more formulaic house types that dot the landscape. Its owners wished to create an amalgamation of their favorite architectural styles, which brought a certain rigor to the design process. During the couple's extensive travels in Asia, they developed a liking for Pacific Rim architecture, where the International Style is influenced by local building types. Additionally, the wife was born in Houston and then moved to Nebraska, so she has a fondness for the more classic homes of the Midwest.

Urban Redevelopment: 1111 Lincoln Road

Mon, Feb 21, 2011

Not long ago, 1100 Lincoln Road was just another city block in Florida, with all the trappings one would expect: heavy traffic, wide medians, and lots of palm trees. Developer Robert Wennett saw that it had potential -- especially considering its history as Miami’s one-time commercial center (its revitalization occurred in the 1990s) and its link to the city’s most well-known architect, Morris Lapidus. The site is at the western end of Lincoln Road’s eight-block promenade, which runs perpendicular to the waterfront. Known as 1111 Lincoln Road, the main part of the urban redevelopment consists of a plaza flanked by three major buildings.

House of the Month: Combs Point Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Wed, Jan 26, 2011

Looking at a photograph of the waterfall that provides a launching point for the Combs Point Residence he designed for a lakefront in New York, Peter Bohlin says, “There’s nowhere else quite like it in the world.”

Ask anyone who has ever fallen in love with a piece of land and they will say that it is, in fact, a place unlike any other in the world. And Bohlin, Principal in Charge at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, designs with that distinctiveness in mind. Bohlin says, “Our work is always noted for thinking and feeling how a place is. It is intellectual and well reasoned but also takes into account that we are emotional beings.“

Construction Specifications Institute's (CSI's) GreenFormat

Tue, Dec 28, 2010

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has been hoping to build upon its 60 year plus history of creating industry standards and guidelines. In December 2008 it introduced GreenFormat, an online search tool that assists designers in finding green building products. GreenFormat ties in with CSI’s existing group of formats, all of which help organize and manage project information (UniFormat, MasterFormat, etc.). Information in GreenFormat is organized according to the already familiar MasterFormat divisions.

Zaha Hadid's Library and Learning Center

Mon, Nov 29, 2010

Perhaps no building type has changed more in the past generation than the university library. Enormous book collections, once the organizing feature of these buildings, have lost their prominence as scholastic resources. Today’s college students, having grown up using the Internet, have little patience for a warren of "stacks" and laborious searches through printed materials. Therefore, a building prototype that was traditional, monumental, and static has given way to a new, more fluid style.The dynamic form created by Zaha Hadid to house the new Library and Learning Center for the University of Economics and Business in Vienna, Austria, makes a definitive statement regarding the contemporary function of a scholarly library.

Eco-Friendly Prefab Homes: Unfold the Possibilities

Wed, Nov 17, 2010

It has been over a decade since Americans began to embrace the notion of living "smaller." During these years interest has risen in living in a way that is more energy-efficient and eco-friendly. Blu Homes, a company finding success in the prefab home market, is not only addressing our wish to live smaller and greener but is offering a solution to potential home buyers in the wake of the burst housing bubble of 2007. They aim to sell their modular product at an affordable price point.

Understanding LEED Rating Systems

Tue, Nov 02, 2010

When describing the changes made to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) uses the word “harmonization.” According to Marie Coleman, a Communication Associate with the USGBC, this refers to the fact that all LEED commercial rating systems are now aligned on a 100 point scale.

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