This article from the Wall Street Journal discusses how design-build architects such as Peter Gluck, Marmol Radziner, and Randy Brown are not feeling the economic pinch as much as traditional architects. In discussing the 'radical' nature of design-build for most architects, the article states that:
Some skeptics still believe the practice is unethical, saying it is a conflict of interest for designers to determine a building's budget. "In theory clients like it because it sort of simplifies their life. But they're paying with one less level of protection and oversight," says New York architect Richard Dattner. "There's either a conflict or an appearance of a conflict."
I wonder if this is not the way to expand the role of the architect and also provide financial safeguarding in the future: discover apparent conflicts in traditional architectural practice and exploit them.
Architect as Developer