James Miller

Associate Professor


James Miller (he/him/his/Professor) is an Associate 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. James is currently investigating the application of Indigenous, place-based models for building community resilience in response to the housing crises and rising socio-environmental issues in Hawai'i. 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

  • Indigenous placemaking 
  • Indigenous architecture and spatial production,
  • Place-based housing solutions
  • Va Moana and other Oceanic perspectives of Spatial Relationality,
  • Indigenous Mobilities 
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience,
  • Post-disaster reconstruction and resettlement
  • Remote housing and localized construction processes

These research areas are centered in anti-colonial and Indigenous frameworks with an emphasis on social justice and urban inclusion.

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


Miller, James (Forthcoming) “Placemaking as Indigenous Resurgence in the Oceanic Diaspora,” in Heather Dorries and Michele Daigle (Eds.) Land Back: Indigenous Landscapes of Resurgence and Freedom, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks.

Miller, James (2023) “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, (2022) “Aelon Kein Ad: A Case Study of Rimajol Place Identity in the United States,” in Lana Lopesi, A.-Chr. Engels-Scwarzpaul, and Leali’ifano Albert Refiti (Eds.) Pacific Spaces: Translations and Transmutations, Oxford: Berghahn Books. 

Miller, James and Nay, Eric (2022) “Ontological Upgrade: Indigenous Futures and Radical Transformation,” Spool – Deep Adaptation – the Spatial Dimension, TU Delft Open.

Miller, James (2021) "Indigenous Placemaking in the Climate Diaspora: Rimajol Resettlement in the U.S." Traditional Dwelling and Settlements Review, 32(2), 39-52.

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.


Teaching Schedule

M, W 2-3:30 in ES 318