The shortlisted group of five architects, one of which will represent Britain at the Venice Biennale this autumn, is a slightly odd one. Foreign Office Architects one can understand, and the piquant idea of having Blighty represented by the Iranian-born Farshid Moussavi and the very Spanish Alexandro Zero-Polo cannot have escaped the notice of the organisers, the British Council. As for the others, they are certainly not untalented (Alison Brooks/David Adjaye/ East/de Rijke Marsh Morgan). On the other hand, an invited list could easily have included Caruso St John, Birds Portchmouth Russum, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Glen Howells, Gareth Hoskins and many others. Why didn't the British Council hold a competition? Why did they pick who they picked?