The NOVELL Redesign project: Neuroscience Optimised Virtual Environment Living Lab

About the Project

NOVELL Redesign is an evidence-based research project that is aiming to revolutionise the design of stroke rehabilitation environments. NOVELL, or the Neuroscience Optimised Virtual Environment Living Lab, will transform stroke rehabilitation environments to optimise outcomes for users of rehabilitation facilities, including patients, visitors, and staff. We are working in close partnership with stroke survivors, academia and industry.


In NOVELL Redesign we are pioneering a new and rigorous approach to healthcare design. The project combines a Living Lab framework and a Design Science approach, integrating evidence from rehabilitation architecture and neuroscience with cutting-edge technology to produce new virtual rehabilitation facility designs which will be tested, evaluated, refined and realised over the next 3 years.


NOVELL Redesign recently achieved a major milestone with the first of a series of blue-sky thinking workshops bringing together stroke survivors, carers, architects and designers, policy makers, rehabilitation clinicians, and neuroscience researchers to collaboratively reimagine what rehabilitation environments can be.


Project Partners:

The NOVELL Redesign is a collaboration between The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Swinburne University of Technology, and Griffith University and is funded by the Felton Bequest and The University of Melbourne. Project partners include stroke survivors, academia, government, and industry. The project is welcoming new partners. For more information and to contact the project team, please visit[]


Media from project partners: 

Prof Heidi Zeeman, from The Hopkins Centre Griffith University, is excited about the project, “The NOVELL Redesign project is the first of its kind in Australia and is working to create what is an ideal rehabilitation environment.” 

“The project addresses the lack of evidence-based design in stroke rehabilitation environments and in healthcare more generally, while also recognising a need to use contemporary neuroscience evidence in this area.”
Prof Julie Bernhardt, from The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health stated, “I've been involved in redesign projects on the ground at hospitals and have always felt quite frustrated that we weren’t innovating.”

“The NOVELL Redesign project gives us the opportunity to use a virtual, Living Laboratory approach, where we bring everyone together to create something exciting and different that meets everybody’s needs".

Prof Marcus White, from Swinburne University of Technology, another member of the team says, “Rehabilitation facilities are spaces where people spend a lot of time, so the design is critical, not only for the person who has had a stroke, but also for their families and carers, and for the staff looking after them."

“In the NOVELL Redesign project we use input from consumers to tease out some radical new design ideas that we then test using technology.” He said, “we are communicating the research findings to make sure that they can feed back into policy and architectural design practice.”

For more information and to contact the project team, please visit

Learn more about Professor Heidi Zeeman HERE.

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