A journey through history, The Capsule, invites the audience to take on the challenges of the era of the atomic bomb. From looking through the scientific documents of building the bomb to deciding on whether to drop it, The Capsule challenges its audience's perspective on history.

storytelling that surrounds you, using the world as your stage or platform, letting the audience have a voice and a meaningful role

 Susan Bonds, Future of Storytelling

A subscription 'Museum in a box' service

The driving concept behind ‘The Capsule’ is that it is the first module of several that customers could rent or purchase from a subscription ‘museum in a box’ service.

Customers would receive a box every few months which sends them on an adventure into moments of history, to connect deeply, and to come to a better understanding of major events.

A self-directed multi-media experience

Within ‘The Capsule’ customers will find multiple chapters each with key and appropriate uses of technology, from tangible media, aural experiences through the augmented reality adventures.

This version of ‘The Capsule’ utilises a card game, tangible media, an augmented aural experience, and a meditative folding activity.

Immersive Storytelling and Experience Design

Immersive Design is a dynamic mental and physical shift in how we tell stories. In this new medium, the passive and detached observer becomes an active participant in the unfolding story. To achieve this change the person needs to be immersed in the story using tools that are derived from the entertainment industries.

This project builds on these innovations in storytelling by reforming and refocusing tools found not only in the general entertainment industry, but also in themed entertainment, and games.

The box & Identity

The name ‘Capsule’ is derived from the concept of a time capsule. Whilst the external design of the box is derived and inspired from a black box flight recorder and pandora’s box. These concepts hope to entice curiosity to open and explore the contents of the box and to allow for a blank slate for various stories.


The experience of the box is broken up into four major chapters, each with a separate immersive activity or experience. The chapters aim to push the story forward, keep the audience engaged and challenge various topics of the history in question.

The event in history

The Manhattan Project and the atomic bomb

The first installment of 'The Capsule' aims to immerse its audience into the decisions that led to the disastrous decision to develop and drop the first atomic bomb. It is a story that not many know the details of and why so many came to support a project that resulted in the deaths of thousands.

Whilst this project touches on sensitive subjects I have aimed to ensure the audience understands the real-world consequences of war in the hope to avoid future events like this.

Prologue  |  The Path to Destruction

The introductory chapter to help set the scene and the story. Presenting the history and development of The Pacific War and the introduction of the United States of America into the war. Told in a short format booklet.

Chapter 1  |  The Manhattan Project

The first activity chapter of the series tells the story of the fateful Manhattan Project. Within this chapter the audience takes on the role of a 1940s news reporter with leaked documents from meetings, research, and development of the atomic bomb.

The audience is asked to look at these documents for 10 minutes before choosing their top most important documents.

Using UV sensitive inks and a UV torch, the audience is able to reveal important information, interesting quotes, and key personalities.

Chapter 2  |  To Drop the Bomb

The second activity chapter of the series places the audience in the position of deciding whether to drop the bomb. This is done through a card game activity.

The audience is asked distantly related questions around the war that test the morals of the audience. Whilst random cards may be played against them causing a sense of chaos and unpredictability, reflecting the nature of unreliable and frequent changes in information.

Ultimately, the audience ends up having played a number of cards which may or may not weigh in favour of dropping the bomb.

Chapter 3  |  Exploring Hiroshima

The third chapter places the audience within the city of Hiroshima directly after the atomic bombing using immersive audio and GPS location technology.

By using a mobile application the user can explore their home city augmented into the destroyed landscape of Hiroshima. At certain points of interest, the audience is able to listen to memories, recordings, and audio experiences.

Chapter 4  |  The Aftermath

The final activity chapter of the series asks the audience to sit down reflect and take time to make an origami paper crane, a symbol of the Hiroshima bombing. During this activity, the audience is able to tune into a radio station through the mobile app which broadcasts news reports of the attack coming in throughout the world.

Epilogue  |  The Wake of Destruction

The epilogue wraps up the experience and helps tell the story of the development of atomic weapons and energy from the detonation of the Little Boy Bomb to the current second nuclear age.

Upon reflection

After a few years, I’m still very proud of the work I produced in my Honours year at the University of Technology Sydney that lead to the submission of ‘The Capsule’. However, over the years and as I’ve developed my skills, knowledge and critical analysis I’ve come to see flaws and areas for improvement in the final outcome.

Ultimately these flaws and areas of improvement can be the result of further thinking on the topic, a better understanding of the medium and the history and development in technology.

I’ve called out two core areas of improvement below.

Enhance Chapter 1

Chapter 1 is the least engaging chapter of them all yet is the first chapter the audience interacts with. This chapter should set the scene for what the audience can come to expect from 'The Capsule'.

A possible solution is to instead decrypt important messages and piece messages together like a puzzle. The outcome helping to piece together the conversations going on in secret at the time.

Use innovative technology

Since the completion of this project, a number of engaging and useful technologies have appeared on the market and made available to users.

Augmented and Virtual reality could help to further immerse the audience into the experience. QR codes and NFC chips could help to make the experience more seamless between chapters. While personal assistants like Google and Alexa could help to continue the experience outside of the box.

My dissertation

Read the detail, story and learnings behind the project

Read the document