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Ex-pat criticises 'self-centred' northern hemisphere designs

British architect Tom Heneghan claims Australia is leading the way in innovative design but the northern hemisphere is too 'self-centred' to recognise it.

The former AA tutor, who has been working in Tokyo since 1990, has taken up the post of professor of architecture at the University of Sydney.

Heneghan, who is also critical of the Japanese, explained his move: 'When I arrived in Japan in 1990, it was at its peak of architectural creativity.

There was breathtaking originality. But now Japanese architecture has become formulaic, predictable.

'The baton of originality has passed to Australia, which is now producing the most original, fresh and intelligent architecture anywhere. But the northern hemisphere, being terminally selfcentred, knows little about it, which is the north's loss.' And he added: 'I am going to Sydney for purely selfish reasons - to absorb the new spirit of the architecture there, and hopefully to contribute to it.'

Through his Japanese office, the Architecture Factory, Heneghan has won a number of competitions and awards including the 'Gakkai Shoh' - the Architectural Institute of Japan's equivalent to the Stirling Prize.

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