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

Articles tagged with: conference

Home » Community Projects, One-Off Shareables, Publishing on Demand, StoryCubes
Birmingham Total Place StoryCubes by Proboscis
Submitted by on February 18, 2010 – 9:00 amNo Comment

Conference Question Cube A4 only PDF 260Kb
Total Place Early Intervention Set Cube 1 A4 only PDF 2Mb
Total Place Early Intervention Set Cube 2 A4 only PDF 2Mb
Total Place Early Intervention Set Cube 3 A4 only PDF 2Mb
Total Place Early Intervention Set Cube 4 A4 only PDF 2Mb
Total Place Early Intervention Set Cube 5 A4 only PDF 2Mb
Total Place Early Intervention Set Cube 6 A4 only PDF 2Mb
Total Place Early Intervention Set Cube 7 A4 only PDF 2Mb
Total Place Early Intervention Set Cube 8 A4 only PDF 2Mb

About : A series of StoryCubes created by Alice Angus and Orlagh Woods of Proboscis, specially commissioned for the Early Intervention strand of Birmingham Total Place, including a set of 8 designed to bring the everyday voices of families, parents and carers into the BTP conference, and a StoryCube designed to elicit responses from the conference participants.

Published February 2010

Alice Angus, co-director of Proboscis, is an artist inspired by rethinking concepts and perceptions of landscape and human relationships to the land. Over the last six years she has been creating a body of art work exploring concepts proximity and remoteness, technology and presence, against the lived experience and local knowledge of a place. In 2003, Alice was the only non-Canadian to participate in the first Artist in the Park residency in Ivvavik National Park in the Northern Yukon, organised by Parks Canada.

Orlagh Woods is an artist whose work explores how diverse people and communities engage with each other and their environment – how they connect, communicate and are perceived both through digital and non-digital means. She has been working with Proboscis since 2004 and also curates a professional development programme for British Asian theatre company, Tamasha, in London.

*** made with ***

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Home » Dodolab, Learning, Schools & Education, StoryCubes
StoryCubes at DodoLab #2
Submitted by on May 12, 2009 – 5:31 pmNo Comment

Wordle word cloud from Day 2’s StoryCube contributions at WEEC5.
IMG_0267.JPG IMG_0268.JPG

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Home » Dodolab, Learning, Schools & Education, StoryCubes
StoryCubes in action at DodoLab
Submitted by on May 11, 2009 – 10:17 pmNo Comment

Word cloud from 1st day’s contributions

Montréal IMG_0263.JPG

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Home » Dodolab, Learning, Schools & Education, StoryCubes
Dodolab StoryCube by Giles Lane
Submitted by on May 8, 2009 – 12:47 pmNo Comment

dodo_storycube_1-1 dodo_storycube_1-2

Download A4 only PDF 700Kb

About : This double-sided StoryCube has been designed for the Dodolab intervention at the 5th World Environmental Education Congress in Montréal, May 10-14 2009. Dodolab is a collaborative and creative intervention exploring different approaches to the concept of sustainability, resilience and adaptability. It is organised by Andrew Hunter of Render @ University of Waterloo and Shawn van Sluys of Musagetes Foundation. Giles Lane of Proboscis will be participating to engage delegates in creating a landscape of ideas using the cubes, as well as social mapping activities using a Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion Map.

Published May 2009

Giles Lane is an artist, researcher and teacher. He founded and is co-director of Proboscis, a non-profit creative studio based in London where, since 1994, he has led projects such as Urban TapestriesSnoutMapping PerceptionExperiencing DemocracyEveryday Archaeology; and Private Reveries, Public Spaces. Giles is a Visiting Tutor on the MA Design Critical Practice at Goldsmiths College (University of London) and is a Research Associate of the Media and Communications Department at London School of Economics. Giles was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2008 for his contribution to community development through creative practice.

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Home » Community & Events, Events
StoryCubes at Btween08 – the video
Submitted by on August 11, 2008 – 5:43 pmNo Comment

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Home » StoryCubes
StoryCubes at b.TWEEN08
Submitted by on June 20, 2008 – 1:25 am2 Comments


As part of b.TWEEN08 in Manchester, Proboscis is facilitating a StoryCubes ‘landscape of ideas’ to help Just b. Productions and the Manchester Beacon Project define the brief for a new commission to create an online public engagement service that maps connections between people, places, knowledge and creative activity in Manchester. Starting with an initial day-long workshop to scope out the wider issues, aspirations and challenges for the design brief, a series of questions are being posed to the delegates of b.TWEEN to add their comments ideas and suggestions to:

 – Who are the key people and networks that engagement tools should target?
 – What makes engagement tools sustainable?
 – What themes would inspire people to connect using engagement tools?
 – What opportunities should engagement tools offer their participants?
 – What shouldn’t engagement tools be or do?
 – What are reasonable and achievable expectations for engagement tools?
 – What local communities should benefit most from engagement tools?
 – What kinds of links to the physical world should engagement tools have? 

b.tween StoryCube landscapeb.tween StoryCube landscapeb.tween StoryCube landscapeb.tween StoryCube landscapeb.tween StoryCube landscape

The word cloud (created using Wordle) above was generated from StoryCubes created during the workshop (June 17th) and on the first day of b.TWEEN08 (June 19th). The StoryCubes will be scanned in and shared online as inspirations for creative teams wishing to pitch concept proposals for the commission…

Update: the word cloud after day two

btween_word cloud_2_v2

Update 2 : We are really excited to be able to say that the delegates of b.TWEEN voted StoryCubes the Best Interactive Gallery Installation.

2 comments - Latest by:
  • Giles Lane
    Ed, you can find out more about the StoryCubes here: and download a leaflet about uses of…
    Comment posted on 6-26-2008 at 11:47
  • Ed
    The story cubes look really really cool. is there an explanation of how they work and what they do anywhere?
    Comment posted on 6-26-2008 at 11:04

Home » eNotebooks, Learning, Schools & Education, Publishing on Demand
eNotebooks: learning diaries, field notebooks and evaluation tools
Submitted by on November 22, 2007 – 5:36 pmNo Comment

In addition to using the Diffusion eBook format to publish essays and artists books, Proboscis has also been using it to create notebooks for specific activities and projects. The eBook format allows us to design and distribute a notebook that participants in a project or workshop can fill in by hand (writing, drawing or adding stickers as they wish) which can then be scanned and turned back into a PDF file for sharing – either within the group or more widely. This ‘virtuous circle’ moving from digital to material to digital is at the core of the ‘Shareables’ concept. We have designed the Shareables so that they can be used without always needing a computer, but still providing a path for capturing and sharing digitally.

Proboscis has successfully used ‘eNotebooks‘ in our schools projects as learning diaries (e.g. Sound Scavenging, Everyday Archaeology and Experiencing Democracy) and, in our community projects as a simple means of gathering local knowledge and information (e.g. Robotic Feral Public Authoring, St. Marks and Conversations and Connections).

Diffusion eNotebooks

Learning Diaries
The eNotebooks have been very effective for the schoolchildren participating in our projects, giving them a single place to record and reflect on what they have learned from the different activities and how they are integrated into everyday learning. Over the three years we have collaborated with the Jenny Hammond Primary school on Social Tapestries projects, we have worked ever more closely with the teachers to use the learning diaries to make the bridge between the activities of the workshop and what the children are learning as part of everyday school. The diaries themselves are also an invaluable tool for the teachers and us to gauge each child’s engagement with the project and its concepts – some children choose to do the minimum whilst others spend considerable time and effort embellishing their drawings and writings. This serves an additional function in helping to assess the impact on learning that the workshop has had – the diaries show how the children are absorbing new ideas, vocabulary and improving their spelling as the project progresses.

Examples: Sound Scavenging, Everyday Archaeology, Experiencing Democracy

Field Notebooks
We have also used the eNotebooks in community-based projects and workshops to record knowledge about places and communities. The eNotebooks offer a familiar ‘interface’ and technology (paper and pens) that is very inclusive and engaging – allowing people to write, draw or stick photos into them. In communities and situations where access to computers and broadband internet was not possible the eNotebooks allowed us to design a simple and effective means of asking open (but targeted) questions and enabling people to complete them there and then or post them back to us at their leisure. We see many other possible uses of this kind of eNotebook for researchers in the field doing ethnographic or anthropological studies.

We have also speculated on using the Diffusion Generator in brainstorming activities, where the eBooks are used to create iterations or snapshots of the process in situ. This would both provide an immediate outcome to the activity, but also document the creative processes along the way.

Examples: Robotic Feral Public Authoring, St Marks, Havelock Community Mapping

Evaluation Tool
Proboscis has begun to experiment with creating structured notebooks for people to give feedback and evaluation on an event (such as a conference or workshop) or project. The StoryCubes have also been used in this way – at the Enter Festival in Cambridge (April 2007) conference delgates helped create a landscape of ideas, images and themes relating to the event. Futurelab also used the StoryCubes to engage delegates at their Why Don’t You… conference (October 2007) in mapping and exploring ideas relating to new education practices and uses of innovative technologies in schools and learning. Proboscis also uses the StoryCubes as a notetaking tool (instead of taking minutes) for its own advisory group meetings, enabling us to combine the questions and observations that the group members note down in an ever-growing and evolving landscape.

Examples: Enter Conference,

Other Ideas
One of our key aims for Diffusion is to explore its uses in places (such as developing countries) with poor access to publishing technologies (both traditional print and electronic). A Diffusion eBook can, of course, be made with nothing more than some blank sheets of paper which can then be written and drawn on – or even have sections of typwritten text pasted onto them. Once made, these unique handmade books can be scanned and turned into Shareable eBooks (PDF files), endlessly reproducible and distributable through email and web downloads.

Examples: we plan to make some illustrative examples available soon

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Home » StoryCubes
StoryCubes as an evaluation tool
Submitted by on November 16, 2007 – 7:33 pmNo Comment

Dan Sutch of Futurelab writes on flux about using the StoryCubes at their recent Why Don’t You… conference,

During my session on day 1, I use Proboscis’ Storycubes to prompt conversations between audience members about particular aspects of innovation. The six themes of innovation we looked at where: the aims of innovation; measures of successful innovation; changes to social practices; the resistances to these changes; Actions to reduce these resistances, and ‘black box’ tools to support these process.

The results of these conversations were captured on each of the cube faces and these are being shared on the Futurelab website (the last link under my session) along with other outputs from the conference. It makes for really interesting browsing – being given an insight into the micro conversations at the conference that we can’t or don’t normally have access to. It also provides an interesting way to reflect on the shared viewpoints of the people at the conference – as well as highlighting the differences.

Proboscis designed a simple instruction card to be distributed with the StoryCubes to the delegates (see our StoryCube design services for details), who built up a ‘landscape’ of StoryCubes on a table in one of the conference’s public areas.

Why Don’t You…

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Home » StoryCubes
StoryCube Design Services
Submitted by on November 7, 2007 – 1:38 amOne Comment

Proboscis is developing new design services for StoryCubes:

  • StoryCube Packs for Conferences & Workshops: for organisers to distribute to delegates as an evaluation tool, or to stimulate discussion and debate. Proboscis will design and produce a pack containing up to 200 StoryCubes and 200 customised handouts for distribution to delegates. Please contact us for pricing.
  • Workshop Facilitation: Proboscis can facilitate StoryCube workshops at conference and events for brainstorming, discussion and evaluation sessions. Proboscis will design and provide custom handouts for delegates, all the necessary StoryCubes and will facilitate the workshops themselves. In addition we will document and evaluate the workshop as part of the service. Please contact us for pricing.
  • Personalised StoryCubes: Proboscis can design and manufacture individually designed StoryCubes – e.g. for marketing campaigns or communication projects – in small or large numbers of individual or multiple StoryCube designs. Please contact us for pricing.
  • Licensing: For customised designs and volume ordering (such as museum education programmes, workshops etc) the StoryCube design may be licensed to take advantage of local manufacturing economies. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

For some examples of how StoryCubes have been used in conferences, workshops, corporate, training and educational settings please visit our Flickr Group.

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Home » eBooks, eNotebooks, One-Off Shareables
Enter Conference Participant eNotebook by Proboscis
Submitted by on April 25, 2007 – 11:57 amOne Comment

Enter Conference Participant eNotebook

Download A4 | US Letter PDF 132Kb

About : a participant eNotebook for conference delegates to record and share their experiences at Enter Conference, Cambridge, April 2007 made by Proboscis as part of the Public Authoring Zone.

Published April 2007

Proboscis is an artist-led creative studio based in London, UK.

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