playful cubes for storytelling, brainstorming ideas or playing games in three dimensions

Community & Events

Diffusion engaging with the community, online and out in the world.


an ongoing programme enabling residents at Proboscis studio to create eBooks and StoryCubes for their own projects.

Learning, Schools & Education

eBooks & StoryCubes created for learning and educational purposes


Browse the collection of Diffusion Shareables: eBooks & StoryCubes



bookleteer is our free online application for making eBooks and StoryCubes. You can create and download PDFs for printing and making up the handmade Diffusion eBooks and StoryCubes, or order short runs (from 50 copies) of either eBooks or StoryCubes to be professionally printed and bound, or share your books online via the bookreader. Visit the bookleteer blog to see case studies, inspiring projects and learn much, much more.

Sign Up for a free account


Since 2003 Proboscis has been developing an online application (Diffusion Generator) to enable people to create their own Diffusion eBooks without needing graphic design skills or access to professional DTP software. Between November 2006 and April 2009 we used the prototype to create most of the eBooks that were published here.

Since May 2009 Proboscis has been testing an entirely new version of the Generator which now has an API for other sites to call to generate eBooks and StoryCubes (Shareables). The new Generator supports:

  • creation of portrait and landscape eBooks
  • use of both ‘classic’ andbook‘ binding methods for eBooks (see our design schematics)
  • creation of single and double sided StoryCubes
  • offline content design ability for eBooks & StoryCubes (via PDF upload)
  • ability to flow HTML content into eBooks & StoryCubes
  • Unicode support for non-Roman typefaces for languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Aramaic and many others
  • eBook templates supporting right-to-left languages (e.g. Arabic)
  • support for personalised/branded eBook & StoryCube templates
  • support for future shareable designs to be incorporated into Generator

In late September 2009 we began testing a new web service built on the Generator, Over the next few months we will be seeding some pilot projects with partners and collaborators, as well as running a regular series of evening workshops, Pitch Up & Publish. Some pilots will focus on our concept of “tangible souvenirs”: hybrid digital/physical outputs from digital experiences that act as a bridge between the material and the digital worlds. Other pilots will look at specific sectors and uses such as local museums and voluntary groups, literary societies and education.
Follow bookleteer’s development on Twitter.


Diffusion offers exciting possibilities for sharing of knowledge and information, especially in developing countries where lack of physical infrastructure means shipping bulky objects (like books) is difficult and expensive, but where internet communications are beginning to proliferate and low cost paper publications are still easier for most people to access and read than computer screens.

For instance, Diffusion could be used to provide low-cost, easily updateable manuals for intermediate technologies; for promoting health awareness; for creating teaching and learning resources or as a publishing platform for citizen journalism. Diffusion provides an alternative to traditional print and online publishing – bridging analogue and digital media. The eBooks and StoryCubes can be shared electronically (as PDF files), by photocopy, by post or as hand-made paper books and cubes – samizdat for the digital age.


The Diffusion formats are extremely flexible and can be used in many ways, such as for:

  • publishing essays, short stories or poems
  • creating simple, easy to distribute manuals and instructions
  • making gallery and museum guides and workbooks
  • creating lesson plans, lecture notes and learning diaries for students in schools, colleges and universities
  • creating a 3D cube or eBook family picture album
  • creating a visual record of a journey
  • making a personal diary or journal
  • creating a mini-portfolio for artworks, photos etc
  • notebooks & diaries for fieldwork (e.g. for anthropology or ethnography)
  • local newsletters or pamphlets
  • to document and evaluate brainstorming & innovation workshops, events and conferences
  • creating 3D story landscapes for play and work Development Team:
Giles LaneYasir Assam & Stefan Kueppers. With additional work by Moin AhmedSimon Whiteside.

Generator version 1 Development Team:
Giles Lane, Phil Ayres & Karen Martin