This paper presents the development of an alternative paradigm for the conservation of non-secular monuments in South and Southeast Asia. The proposed paradigm and supporting conceptual framework are based on the synergies between Buddhism and the systems theory. The purpose of the adoption of Buddhism is based on the need to find a culturally sensitive holistic and organic approach as opposed to the rationalist materialist approach of the current Euro-centric approaches. The differences in approaches to the conservation of monuments between the East and the West have been discussed widely amongst conservationists, with the development of a number of guidelines to deal with the issue. The use of systems theory, while being based on established synergies with Buddhism, provides a structured foundation to build the conceptual framework. The proposed alternative paradigm and conceptual framework are based on three Buddhist principles of interconnectedness, interdependence and mutual conditioning.
The ICFAI University Journal of Architecture Vol. 1, Issue 1, p. 16-35