The research aims to investigate how design and VR can improve the transition between rehabilitation centre to home, by recreating the patient’s home environment and involve them in the customization of their home. The research critically assesses the processes currently in place through a set of case studies and practice-based methodology, resulting in a prototype of a VR outcome. The VR outcome aims to facilitate the customization of the physical rehabilitation process.

-To examine how physical rehabilitation centres prepare the patients for their return home.

- To examine what services or information is provided to the rehabilitation patient in regards to changes that need to be made to their home.

-To investigate a patients experience with the discharging process and their return home.

-To investigate the design of wheelchair accessible homes.

- To understand and develop strategic techniques that could assist physical rehabilitation and the patient in the preparation of the transitioning between rehabilitation centre to home.

This leads to the following research question;


What is the role for virtual reality in a patient’s transition from physical rehabilitation centre to home?


The significance of the study is to better understand how design can improve the transition from physical rehabilitation centre to home. The study emphasises the importance of ones home in creating independence and designing a suitable home for the patient. With the human body constantly changing, humans are only at their best health for a short period of time, emphasising that “household needs vary over time in relation to physical capabilities. Most people can expect temporary or permanent variations in their physical capabilities in their life due to injury, illness or age” (Palmer and Ward 2013). According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), “around one-third of Australian households contained a person with disability”(ABS, 2015; Appendix 10).

This project will investigate how the process of preparing patients for the ‘real-world’, in regards to their own home environment, can be improved and how patients can actively participate in the redevelopment of their home.





Maddison Cronin is an Interior Design student at Griffith University studying a Bachelor of Design Futures with Honours.

This project was inspired by a significant period in my life and is based around my families experience with a physical rehabilitation centre and the transitioning process. After a serious motorbike incident, my brother spent a year living in a physical rehabilitation centre. From our families’ perspective, the inpatient facility was aesthetically unappealing and lacked emotional connection or sense of home. Due to the inhospitable design of the facility, it created a space that was not supportive for recovery or an emotionally accommodating space from my brother. He felt as though it was dull, clinical and outdated.

The transitioning process between the environments was difficult due to the distance between the physical rehabilitation centre, which was located in Adelaide and our family home in Alice Springs. Without access to our family home it created further challenges in preparing for our return home and the changes that needed to be made in regards to creating an accessible space. This is where the concept of my research project began. The exploration of the disconnectedness between facility and home, in relation to the physical rehabilitation process, is a gap in the research that will further be explored to improve the transition process.

Since my brothers return from a physical rehabilitation centre, he has lived in three different homes and all of these spaces needed to be modified to suit his needs and abilities. Throughout the following design process I wanted to take into consideration that people don’t often live in the same house throughout their life span. With this I am to explore the aesthetics of the design in regards to being appealing to future buyers.