Job title: Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography & Theory

Role: MSc Architecture, Landscape & Environment Programme Director; Co-Chair ECA Decolonising the Curriculum Working Group

Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5825


Office address: 4.05 Minto House

Research outputs: Dr Penny Travlou on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Penny Travlou is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography and Theory at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh. Her research is interdisciplinary focusing on social justice, the commons, collaborative practices, emerging networks, feminist methodologies, critical landscape theory, epistemologies of the South and ethnography. 

She is also the Co-Director of the Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research in Athens, a non-profit independent research organisation that focuses on feminist and queer studies, participatory education and activism.

Penny teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate courses on landscape theory, cultural geography and qualitative research methods across ESALA and supervise PhD students. She is the Programme Director of the new MSc Architecture, Landscape and Environment.

Penny has been involved in international research projects funded by the EU and UK Research Councils. She was Co-Investigator at the EU-funded (HERA JRP) project "Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice". Through her ethnographic fieldwork, she looked at how creative networked communities form within transnational and transcultural contexts in a globalised and distributed communications environment. She was also Principal Investigator in the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project "Creation and Publication of the Digital Manual: authority, authorship and voice".

Her ethnographic research looks at collaborative practices in emerging networks such as of art organisations, collaborative economy initiatives, translocal migrants and activists. For the past seven years, she collaborates with art organisations in Colombia and most recently, in the African continent to understand commons from a decolonial perspective and look at commoning practices within artistic forms while understanding the specificities of the commons rooted in various socio-cultural and geographical contexts.  This project is funded by DOEN Stiftung and Prince Claus Foundation (Netherlands) and has been presented in Documenta15 in Kassel (7-11 July 2022). Since April 2022, she participates in a new project “Decolonising the City: co-designing a participatory arts-based research toolkit with African descent communities in Athens, Greece” funded by Urban Studies Foundation and the Independent Social Research Foundation in the UK.

She has also been a member of the Management Commitee of the EU funded COST Action project: From Sharing to Caring: Examining Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy which run from March 2017 to September 2021, bringing together participants from 25 European countries. Currently, she participates in the new COST Action Toolkit of Care (TOC) (2022 - 2026).

Penny has published extensively in academic journals and books. Her most recent publication is as follows:

Housing as Commons: Housing Alternatives as Response to the Current Urban Crisis (Bloomsbury 2022).

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Commons and spatial justice
  • Refugees, displacement and migration
  • Cultural landscapes
  • Feminist and queer studies of space and place
  • Decolonial and feminist methodologies
  • Epistemologies of the South
  • Ethnography