Penelope is a Venezuelan architect, urban artivist and researcher. She qualified as an Architect in 1997 at Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela. Her degree project, a shelter for street children in La Pastora, was awarded an honourable mention. Following an internship at the Museo de Bellas Artes of Caracas, she joined the practice Larrañaga/Obadía Arquitectos in 1998, where she worked on residential projects and competitions. She left the firm in 2000 to work as an independent architect and arts manager, developing a successful career in exhibition design, arts management and communications for cultural institutions and not-for-profit organisations in Caracas.
In 2004 Penelope was awarded the Shell Centenary Scholarship to study an MPhil in Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge; her dissertation analysed emblematic modern architecture built during the dictatorial regime of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in the 1950s. She returned to Venezuela in 2005 to work for the British Council as Arts Coordinator where she delivered an exciting programme of workshops and exhibitions on design, architecture, visual arts, performing arts and music.
Penelope left in 2008 to join the Department of Architecture at Universidad Simón Bolívar as Lecturer on Theory and History of Architecture and on Visual Arts and Graphic Expression. That same year she co-founded Collectivox, a not-for-profit organisation focused on developing collaborative projects of small scale urban interventions with communities and young urban artists. She also became an active member of the urban artivist collective Ser Urbano.
She moved to London in 2012 to pursue a PhD in Cultural Policy and Management, for which Ishewas awarded the City University of London Doctoral Studentship, achieving her doctoral degree in 2016. She continued to manage Collectivox remotely as Head of Strategy, Partnerships and Communications. In 2014 Collectivox became the local partner of the British Council to develop the two-year project Busca Tu Espacio funded by the European Union commission in Venezuela.
In terms of her research, through her profession in the arts and urban activism Penelope developed an interest on the intersections between politics, culture, architecture and urban space. This also informs her approach to pedagogy, intersecting practice and theory, having taught at the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, Canterbury School of Architecture, Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries at City University of London, Faculty of Philosophy at Universidad de Concepción in Chile, and the School of Architecture at Universidad Simón Bolívar in Venezuela.