Melissa studied architecture in Johannesburg, South Africa and completed her final degree in 1999. She has worked in a variety of architectural offices in both South Africa and the United Kingdom, mostly focusing on housing projects with a strong commitment to sustainable design.
In 2004, she co-founded Architecture Sans Frontières - UK (ASF-UK) where she is currently an Associate. She has been tutoring at Oxford Brookes University in Unit D since 2006. The Unit focuses on encouraging students to investigate the impact of politics, resource choice, industrialised production, economic systems, discrimination, climate change, the ramifications of disasters on the urban context and heritage, and embark on the path of becoming a new type of architect. She was awarded a Masters in Development and Emergency Practice from Oxford Brookes University in 2010. She is deeply committed to social and economic sustainability and justice, especially when applied to the built environment. .