SALVO* is an Ottawa-based design office/workshop, whose work exists in the messy overlaps of architecture, urbanism, landscape, representation and cultural geographies. We are interested in the strange and comlex relations created at and by these intersections and what they might mean for a contemporary design practice in a fraught, beautiful and fragile world. We believe in a critical practice that prompts and provokes, that engages and questions, that is relentlessly curious and thoughtful. We are a practice that is interested, as the writer Amitav Ghosh notes, in “making possible the imaginations of possibilities.” We like to “stay with the trouble” (Donna Haraway). We like complex histories. We like blurring boundaries and try to unsettle and resist tokenizing and provincial definitions. We are interested in the underdog and in the undergrowth and in the Underland (Robert McFarlane). SALVO is a practice that tries “not just to see things differently, but to see different things” (Dilip Da Cunha).

SALVO was established by Ozayr Saloojee and Johan Voordouw, both faculty at Carleton University’s School of Architecture, in 2019.

* “Salvo” from the Latin, salvus: meaning: an exception, a salute, a volley, an opening shot. It forms, also, part of the Roman greeting “salvere,” (to be in good health), and from Italian can mean, “secure,” “whole,” and “intact.” From the later Latin salvō, it means to make healthy. It is also a portmanteau of “Saloojee” and “Voordouw.”

Sources: (1) Amitav Ghosh. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. University of Chicago Press, 2016; (2): Donna Haraway. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulhucene. Duke University Press, 2016; (3) Robert McFarlane: Underland. Penguin Press, 2019.