Product functionality, quality and impact value keep top architects close to their clients and prevent those clients falling for arguments for a contractor-led process. (And most good architecture comes in on time and budget, too.) What we need is some serious convergence: contractors who have learned enough about design and design management to be able to retain and enhance design value; architects who have enough awareness of the contractor's contribution to suggest an integrated team as early as possible in the project.
Until contractors awake to the fact that it is the brief and the design that creates the value in the first place, they will be easily resisted as integrators of the process. John Prescott, a new honorary fellow of the RIBA, should be asked to help build mutual comprehension so that he can have his "wow factor" and better value for money.
Richard Saxon, via email