Melissa Vaughn

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo da Vinci

Melissa Vaughn

Melissa subscribes to the Charles Eames philosophy that “The details are not the details. They make the design.” She also adds her own footnote to the statement, that “No detail is too small, because ‘close enough’ rarely is.” While reflecting that her perfectionism is both a blessing and a curse (see ‘Quirk’), we are happy to be at the receiving end of her detail-oriented approach to design, and work in general. When she’s not 3D modeling, drafting and prototyping, you can often find her on site coordinating said details with clients and consultants, or championing the expansion of our 3D modeling department to include in-house printing and casting of various metals. Originally from Seattle Washington, she ventured to San Diego to study at the NewSchool of Architecture & Design, where she acquired her Bachelor of Architecture degree while supervising the school’s Materials Lab and Fabrication Shop for 5 years, laying a fitting foundation for her work at BASILE Studio. Melissa lives with her boyfriend aboard their Catalina 34’ sailboat, ‘Independence,’ and is profoundly influenced by the simplicity and community that the nautical lifestyle provides.

Best part of being at BASILE:
The unique opportunity to carry out an idea, big or small, all the way from a conceptual sketch to a fully fabricated tangible object or space. Having both designers and fabricators under one roof allows us to push these ideas even further and faster. Since experiencing this, it’s difficult to imagine dedicating myself to my craft in any other way.


Observing the social patterns and tendencies of different cultures and designing unique spaces that complement and inspire them.

Favorite architecture or design anywhere:
The Independence. Everything in the boat’s interior serves multiple purposes yet is crafted to such beauty. It is the perfect balance between function and aesthetics.

Personal Ambition:
To experience destination sailing and engage myself in other cultures deeper than their glorified surface level tourism.

I suffer (yes, suffer) from perfectionism, and a tendency to obsess. Sometimes it serves me well (design details), but in other parts of life not so much… it took me 2 weeks to answer these questions!