James Miller

Associate Professor


James Miller (he/him/his/Professor) is an Assistant Professor, Urban and Environmental Planning & Policy. A Kanaka Maoli scholar, architect, and urbanist, James runs a design lab, ’Ike Honua, centering Indigenous knowledge in building resilient communities through architectural and planning frameworks. Under the lens of climate change adaptation, James Miller’s research investigates the role of Indigenous Design Knowledge in the creation of culturally supportive environments through climate migration. Currently, James is investigating the transboundary placemaking of Indigenous communities from the Marshall Islands and the intersection of Oceanic Indigenous knowledge in building community resilience. Miller’s scholarship provides a space for Indigenous knowledge systems tied to the production of the built-environment to be recognized within fields dominated by western-centric world views. He holds a PhD in Sustainable Architecture from the University of Oregon with specializations in cultural sustainability and Indigenous design knowledge.


Ph.D in Architecture, University of Oregon (2018); Master of Architecture, University of Oregon; Bachelor of Architecture, University of Notre Dame (2009)

Research Interests

My research interests include Indigenous architecture and spatial production, Va Moana and other Oceanic perspectives of Spatial Relationality, Indigenous placemaking, and Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience. These research areas are centered in anti-colonial and Indigenous frameworks with an emphasis on social justice and urban inclusion. Other research areas include post-disaster reconstruction, disaster resilience, remote housing, and systems approaches to localized building processes.

My research clusters include: The Collaborative for Inclusive Urbanism (U.Oregon) and Va Moana (AUT)


Miller, James (Forthcoming) “Climate Change Adaptation, Displacement and the Vernacular Architecture of the Marshallese,” in Paul Memmott, John Ting, and Tim O’Rourke (Eds.) Vernacular environments, culture and global change in Australasia and Oceania. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Miller, James (2020) “The Evolution of the Marshallese Vernacular House.” Fabrications, 19, Taylor and Francis.

Miller, James and Nay, Eric (2020) “Architecture, Redress and the Rights of Nature.” Dialectic VIII, School of Architecture, CA+P, University of Utah.

Miller, James (2019) “Post-disaster recovery through the evolution of the lakou, a traditional settlement pattern.” International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment; Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print. Emerald.