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: conversation

Home » Community Projects, Dodolab, eBooks, eNotebooks, Learning, Schools & Education
Rijeka Work Book by DodoLab
Submitted by on June 18, 2010 – 10:28 amNo Comment

Download A4 | US Letter PDF 375Kb

About : This is a field research work book for participants in a Youth Workshop on public spaces run in Rijeka, Croatia, by Andrew Hunter and Lea Perinic, June 18-19, 2010. Part 1 involves groups of participants responding to questions. Part 2 asks the participants to engage the public in conversation. Part 3 will involve photographing the spaces to generate publications and online surveys. The three sites in Rijeka being investigated are the Korzo, Pier and Cont Square.

Published June 2010

DodoLab is an art and design based program that employs experimental and adaptive processes to spark positive change and resiliency. We work collaboratively with a diversity of emergent thinkers/doers to imaginatively and critically repurpose familiar tools of the social sciences, marketing and activism to engage with the public in public. Our focus is the complex relationships between people and their surroundings and how communities define, and are defined by, their environment. DodoLab puts the creative process at the heart of confronting social and environmental challenges.

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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

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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 » eBooks, Featured, Urban & Social Tapestries
Measure Once, Cut Twice : a case study of Snout by Frederik Lesage
Submitted by on March 9, 2009 – 8:34 am2 Comments


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About : Measure Once, Cut Twice is an examination of how an arts organisation like Proboscis produces creative collaborative artworks – specifically their ‘participatory sensing’ project, Snout. The concept of cutting is developed as a means of understanding how objects, people, and practices temporarily come together to produce exceptional moments of social engagement.

Published March 2009

Frederik Lesage is a PhD candidate in the Media and Communications department of the London School of Economics and Political Science. His doctoral thesis deals with the collective construction of artistic conventions among artists who design and use information and communication technologies.

2 comments - Latest by:
  • Introducing the eBook Observer | bookleteer blog
    [...] began to take shape while conducting some research on a previous Proboscis project called Snout (read Measure Once, Cut…
    Comment posted on 8-26-2010 at 12:39
  • Mike Ipswich
    The pages in the pdf are not in sequential order and some of them are upside down. Is this…
    Comment posted on 10-17-2009 at 17:37

Home » Publishing on Demand, Transformations
Submitted by on November 21, 2008 – 4:08 pmNo Comment

why are we who we are?  what do we want to become?

Transformations is the latest series of Diffusion commissions curated by Proboscis. Proboscis is commissioning a diverse range of writers, artists, performers, thinkers and makers to respond to two questions from different perspectives, why are we who we are? and, what do we want to become?

As we get into the swing of the 21st Century our notions of identity, personal and societal, are subject to new arrays of emerging pressures and responsibilities. Our aspirations for change and growth are being re-thought as we grapple with the growing awareness of environmental changes which may already be beyond our control. How have we reached this point? Where do we go from here?

Transformations seeks to address these fluid notions of identity and aspiration by commissioning works that subtly reflect on individual identities, urban identity and pharmaceutical, biological and technological interventions. Over the next few years we will be inviting selected contributors to add their voices into this mix – through essays and artists books (eBooks) as well as in three dimensions (StoryCubes).

Add Your Voice
For the first time we are experimenting with a new approach to selecting works for this series – publishing as a conversation. Readers are invited to submit their own proposals for the series (through the comments section of this site) – we will provide accounts for the Diffusion Generator (soon to be re-launched as Bookleteer) for readers to become authors and create their own eBooks or StoryCubes,  the best of which we will publish as contributions to the series. We are not asking for quick responses, but for measured and considered contributions to the series – putting an eBook or a set of StoryCubes together is significant creative act. Get in touch if you are inspired by the works we have selected and published so far and have a proposal for a work of your own.

The Contributions

Sponsorship Opportunity
We are seeking a sponsor for Transformations who shares our ethos of collaboration, public authoring and creating cultures of listening. Please contact us for more information.

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Home » eBooks, Topographies & Tales
At the Water’s Edge with Joyce Majiski by Alice Angus
Submitted by on August 21, 2008 – 4:38 pmNo Comment

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AboutAt the Water’s Edge
Finding that so much of her work on human relationships to land and urban space leads to issues around rivers and water Alice Angus is beginning a series of water based investigations exploring different perspectives of what it means to care for the environment and how it can affect the way in which water environments are managed and cared for. The dialogues are being recorded and shared as Diffusion eBooks and StoryCubes. Through encounters, journeys and conversations with people who experience rivers in different ways the series aims to bring the discussion of environmental issues to a human dimension and consider how human creativity, spirituality and inventiveness in everyday life; from city workers to gardeners, urban planners to bus drivers, amateur botanists to academics is both witness to environmental change and fundamental to creating solutions to environmental issues.

A Conversation with Joyce Majiski
Joyce Majiski is an artist, naturalist and river and wilderness guide whose work focuses on the natural world. This eBook includes excerpts from a conversation with Joyce about two rivers; the Tatshenshini and the Firth. Both wilderness rivers in North Western Canada.

Published August 2008

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.

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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 » Community & Events, Community Projects, eNotebooks, Events
Using eBooks for a treasure hunt as part of a consultative process by Kevin Harris
Submitted by on July 1, 2008 – 6:42 pm2 Comments

I’ve been working recently with Bradford Libraries (West Yorkshire, England) on a few small community engagement projects. They have received funding under the Community Libraries Programme to extend and refurbish the library at Manningham. In June 2008 I was asked to run a public event in the library to engage people with the process and open up a period of consultation.

The intention was to have a two hour early evening slot, with the architect and plans available, plus members of staff of course, but no set programme. So the first condition was to design a consultation event where people are constantly coming and going, but you want to attract their attention, inform them, provoke thinking and capture their views.

The idea of a treasure hunt as a fun way to generate interest quickly became the key component of the event. Working with library staff I developed a set of clues which would require users to go to specific locations in and around the building. The planned extension will be built over part of an existing car park and a community garden will be designed alongside, so we had the chance with the treasure hunt to help people visualise it. I was pretty sure that the Diffusion eBooks would be the ideal mechanism for linking clues to further suggestions and comments.

Here’s how it worked. Visitors were given an eBook, with the first clue printed on the first page. Each clue required the hunter to go to a specific location, inside or outside the library building, where they would find the next clue printed on a set of peel-off labels. They took one of these labels and stuck it onto a space on a new page in the eBook.

We provided space on each page for hunters to write an answer to each clue. Additionally there was a supplementary consultative question, designed to solicit ideas and suggestions for the new building.

So for example, the second clue asked “Where will the disabled parking spaces be?” This required checking the site plans, with the architect on hand to help work out the answer. The hunter then had to pop outside to the specific location, where friendly staff held a folder of labels for clue 3. If necessary, users were shown where the label should be placed in their eBook. The supplementary question asked: “What else is needed to make sure that disabled people have good access to the new library?”

At the location of the answer to the final clue, users found a note saying “Well done! You’ve finished the treasure hunt – please go back to the start and collect your prize.”

We anticipated that some users would rather get on with the hunt, and then perhaps settle down afterwards to write comments in answer to the questions. In practice, we found that most took this course and staff were on hand to encourage and support comment. Nonetheless, it was obvious that a number of hunters lacked confidence writing in the English language and were reluctant to offer any comments. Aware of this, staff engaged most of them in conversation and anyway it didn’t matter – they were in the library, taking part, willingly engaged and ready to contribute in other ways.

What worked well
The treasure hunt clues and the eBooks were developed remotely, with staff locally printing out the eBooks and, never having encountered them before, making them up a day or two in advance. As always, one or two showed greater dexterity than others, but it was done. I travelled to Bradford on the day of the event knowing that the documentation was ready.

In terms of helping to guide people through the treasure hunt process, the eBooks worked flawlessly. No-one got lost or did the clues in the wrong order. And no-one got into any difficulty with the sticking of labels: every one was placed in the right place on the right page.

We printed some eBooks on A3, giving a page format of around 21 x 15cm. These proved more popular and suited being carried around for 15-30 minutes, allowing plenty of space for notes.

What I’d do differently
We had the smaller eBooks printed on yellow paper, but ideally I’d like to introduce some colour in other ways and the obvious place to do this is with the sticky labels.

A key point
It’s important not to see this as an engagement technique in a vacuum. If we did, we wouldn’t get results. We ran this exercise while the library was open, with staff having conversations with users, an SMS option for comments, and other opportunities for people to get involved in the decision-making process. The eBooks fit perfectly in the treasure hunt and the treasure hunt is just one component in an ongoing mix of engagement activities and processes.

Kevin Harris
June 2008

Read Kevin’s post on his Neighbourhoods blog.

2 comments - Latest by:
  • Kevin Harris: eBook Treasure Hunt | bookleteer blog
    [...] this post on Kevin writes that the eBook Treasure Hunt worked well and no-one had difficulty [...]
    Comment posted on 8-18-2010 at 08:03
  • Business trainer bruce
    This is a brilliant idea. Simple but very effective. Although time can always be an issue…
    Comment posted on 3-11-2010 at 08:44

Home » Community Projects, eBooks, eNotebooks
Manningham Library Treasure Hunt by Kevin Harris
Submitted by on July 1, 2008 – 6:39 pmNo Comment

Download A4 | US Letter PDF 262Kb

About : an eNotebook created for a Treasure Hunt at Manningham Library, Bristol.

Published June 2008

Kevin Harris is a community development consultant and writer (Local Level). He blogs on neighbourhoods, neighbourliness, social capital and life at local level.

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Home » eBooks, Residencies Conversations: Karen Gaskill by Michelle Kasprzak
Submitted by on June 30, 2008 – 2:12 pmNo Comment

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About : Karen is currently the Director and Curator of Interval. and a Researcher at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool. She is also currently completing her practice-based PhD in Digital Media and Social Practice at the Digital Research Unit, The University of Huddersfield. The interview with Karen covered topics ranging from getting outside of the white cube to the expanding role of the audience. This interview, the second in the series of eBooks that will be released on, is intended to become part of a larger conversation. Comments on the topics raised in this series of eBooks are welcomed, and responses may be collected later into a companion eBook.

Published June 2008

Michelle Kasprzak is a curator, writer, and artist. Since winning the InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre Emerging Electronic Artist award early in her career, she has exhibited her work throughout North America and Europe, and has been featured in numerous publications and on radio and television broadcasts syndicated worldwide. She completed her MA in Visual and Media Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal in spring of 2006, and later that year was awarded a curatorial research residency at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA) in Finland. She has published essays on art in CV Photo, Spacing, and Mute, and her most recent curatorial project was Otherworldly, a video programme that is currently touring urban screens around the globe. Michelle is currently based in Edinburgh.

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Home » eBooks, Residencies Conversations: Alissa Firth-Eagland by Michelle Kasprzak
Submitted by on October 11, 2007 – 12:38 pmOne Comment Conversations: Alyssa Firth-Eagland

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Abstract: the first of a series of eBooks created by Michelle Kasprzak as part of the Generator Case Study Residencies. Michelle is interviewing contemporary art curators about their practice for her blog on curating:

Published September 2007

Michelle Kasprzak is a curator, writer, and artist. Since winning the InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre Emerging Electronic Artist award early in her career, she has exhibited her work throughout North America and Europe, and has been featured in numerous publications and on radio and television broadcasts syndicated worldwide. She completed her MA in Visual and Media Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal in spring of 2006, and later that year was awarded a curatorial research residency at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA) in Finland. She has published essays on art in CV Photo, Spacing, and Mute, and her most recent curatorial project was Otherworldly, a video programme that is currently touring urban screens around the globe. Michelle is currently based in Edinburgh, and is the Programmes Director of New Media Scotland.,,

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