"Imagine, if you will, you make a great piece of green building... a great piece of architecture that is also a green building, you know, on Route 128. What is the consequence of that building when the entire planning principles of the United States, in a way, cultivate an attitude about sprawl?" Tehrani asks. In his opinion, many of the techniques of sustainable design, such as properly orienting a building in relation to the sun and relying on natural modes of ventilation, have been around for centuries. What the green movement needs now, he argues, is not so much a rethinking of the principles of architectural design and form, but a larger reconsideration of the impact of planning, urban design, politics and policy.
From a scholarly standpoint however, Tehrani is less concerned about architecture's ability "get around the hurdle of sustainability" in the coming decades, than he is about the information age's repercussions on the education of architecture. As design becomes accessible to larger masses of people with the ability to communicate across continents, age groups, and publishing platforms, he—like many other academics—wonders where criticism will gauge in the classroom. In the future, Tehrani says, an ability to "deal with the exceptionality of the synthetic moment in inventive ways" will separate the great architects from the masses.