Ahran Won's Moving Capsule

As a 2017 Lexus Design Award Finalist, Ahran Won enlisted Empire Group to develop and prototype her visionary design capstone, "The Moving Capsule."

While studying for her graduate degree of design at Harvard, Ahran created the concept, defining its purpose, ideals, and aspirations. With a firm general concept as a starting point, we worked with her to bring it from rough sketch to reality. How do these components physically come together? How do they connect securely for travel? How does it unpack? How do the capsules interact and arrange and work together to provide more function and meaning? These are the questions we collaborated with Ahran to answer.  


Holistically captured in a simple package, "The Moving Capsule" is a transportable container that empowers minimalists, missionaries, and refugees with their fundamental human needs. The theory behind it is to live minimally, having all you need with nothing more. Including a sleeping mat, travel wheels & handle, 6 "essential" containers, and a variety of furniture arrangements, the package wastes no space while fulfilling all of an individuals needs.


To begin, we researched existing products and gathered reference imagery that demonstrated modular design, multiple components, fittings, furniture, and luggage. Starting with research and image gathering is pivotal to our design process. It inspires solutions that can be leveraged in the design execution.

Research & Discover - Product Development


Working with Ahran's original size and layout, we developed 3 different concepts for how a "final capsule" could come together. Each concept accounted for the 6 essential capsules, a 6 foot long sleeping mat, luggage handle and wheel casters for transporting. After a few rounds of design and refinement, "the Burrito" concept was selected to move into final design CAD & prototype.


The final prototype was made from various materials including plywood, MDF, webbing, vinyl, neoprene, leather, fabric, SLA 3D prints, soft-touch paint finish, sourced casters, and magnets. Ahran was able to attend the Lexus Design Show in Milan where she exhibited and presented her award winning design and prototype.