Roger Connah

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Roger Connah (born Cheshire, England, 1950) is a Welsh writer, independent scholar and researcher based in Ruthin, North Wales, and has taught for over three decades in Finland, India, Pakistan, Sweden, Canada and the USA. Connah studied architecture at Bristol University and Jesus College, Cambridge. In 1974 he moved to Helsinki, Finland to study the work of architect Reima Pietilä, and worked in the office of Reima and Raili Pietilä until 1985.

Connah has specialized in Finnish architecture and society, and has written numerous books on the subject, in particular on the life and works of architects Reima and Raili Pietilä and film director Aki Kaurismäki. Among his many publications is the book on Pietilä, Writing Architecture - Fantomas, Fragments, Fictions (An Architectural Journey through the Twentieth Century) (1989) which was awarded First Prize in the International Book Award in Architectural Theory and Criticism 1987-90 by CICA, The International Union of Architectural Critics. Connah has also held and curated exhibitions, including 'KHAM' (Delhi, 1986) and 'Seven Famous Raincoats and a Moygashel' (1984). His films include ‘Involuntary Architecture’ (2005, with John Maruszczak).

In October 2008 Connah, together with John Maruszczak (and assisted by Ryan Manning), won first prize in the White House Redux competition; the competition invited people to design a new residence for the President of the USA. In the competition, the best ideas, designs, descriptions, images, and videos for a new White House were selected by some of the world's most distinguished designers and critics and during October 2008 were on display at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, which, in association with Control Group, sponsored the contest. Connah and Maruszczak beat off more than 500 other participants to win the competition. They stated that their submission was "an architectural folk-tale for the future, a hybrid representation using unusual poetics and a provocatively dislocated new media."

Published books[edit]

  • Writing Architecture - Fantomas, Fragments, Fictions. An Architectural Journey through the Twentieth Century. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1989.
  • K/K. A Couple of Finns & Some Donald Ducks - Cinema in Society. PK, Helsinki 1991.
  • The End of Finnish Architecture - Or CIAO Potemkin! The Building Institute, Helsinki, 1994.
  • Tango Mäntyniemi. Edita, Helsinki 1994.
  • Slogan - Aphorisms. Painatuskeskus, Helsinki, 1994.
  • Welcome to the Hotel Architecture. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1998.
  • Centro Dipoli, Reima Pietilä. Universale di Architettura Torino, Testo & Imagine 42, Torino, 1998.
  • Grace and Architecture. Building Information Ltd, Helsinki, 1998.
  • Sa(l)vaged Modernism. Building Information Ltd, Helsinki, 2000.
  • Aaltomania. Readings Against Aalto? Building Information Ltd, Helsinki, 2000.
  • Zahoor Ul Akhlaq. The Enigma of Departure & Post-Mortem. Laal, Toronto, 2000.
  • How Architecture got its Hump. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2001
  • 40/40 Young Finnish Architects. Building Information Ltd, Helsinki, 2002
  • Finland - Modern Architectures in History. Reaktion Books, London, 2005.
  • The Piglet Years: The Lost Militancy in Finnish Architecture. Datutop, Tampere, 2007.