Our Board Chair and Instructor Mac Rood recently sent along this great quote from the first century Roman architect Vitruvius in his introduction to The Ten Books of Architecture. I think it articulates well the importance of the design/build approach-- clearly something which is not new, but in fact reflects an ancient practice.
The architect should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning, for it is by his judgment that all work done by the other arts is put to test. This knowledge is the child of practice and theory. Practice is the continuous and regular exercise of employment where manual work is done with any necessary material according to the design of the drawing. Theory, on the other hand, is the ability to demonstrate and explain the productions of dexterity on the principles of proportion.
It follows, therefore, that architects who have aimed at acquiring manual skill without scholarship have never been able to reach a position of authority to correspond to their pains, while those who relied only upon theories and scholarship were obviously hunting the shadow, not the substance. But those who have a thorough knowledge of both, like men armed at all point, have the sooner attained their object and carried authority with them.