So what does an author do to make a mid-20th century architect relevant to a new customer base, the greenies?
Why he proclaims him to be sustainable, natural, and anything else that might be construed as
somehow attractive to the current generation of self-proclaimed environmentalists. In point of fact, FLW took account of
his natural surroundings for one(or both) of two very un-environmentalistic reasons : he thought a building which
blended into its surroundings was more attractive, and because it made for cheaper construction and cheaper operational costs(primarily energy costs). Sustainability, even on those rare occasions when there is agreement as to what that term actually means, has no meaning with respect to a FLW house. The concept of limited energy resources was unknown to FLW, and, with todays concepts of fast reactors and electric vehicles, is of less consequnce or concern than even in FLW's day. Only those time-warped in the 70's, still clinging to the archaic notion of peak oil worry about future energy resources. Wright was far more concerned with housing for the middle and lower classes, which during the never-ending Great Depression meant small and smart structures. Wright was rightly concerned with lowering housing costs for folks that didn't have much, not whether the energy supply is going to suddenly vanish. Labor costs are a far different cost component of housing than during Wright's time, and insulation (and all building materials) is much improved, all of which would have lead him to discard some of his techniques in favor of others. FLW designing in 2014 would not have produced the same structure that he did in his wonderful Jacobs house in the 1930's. The book attempts, in large measure,to fit a square peg in a round hole.