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: public authoring

Home » Material Conditions
announcing a new series : Material Conditions
Submitted by on October 3, 2011 – 6:04 pm2 Comments

This Autumn, as part of our Public Goods Programme, Proboscis is inviting contributions for a new series of eBooks to be published in the Diffusion Library – Material Conditions. It will offer diverse insights by professional creative practitioners on how they see the future trajectories of culture, creativity and practice emerging. We are experiencing a turbulent period of change at fundamental levels of our society; social, political, economic and cultural changes are taking place all around us, and we face adapting our practices, routines, rituals and methods to continue to be creative and effective.

Material Conditions aims to explore what it means and takes to be a professional creative practitioner – from the personal to the social and political. How and why do people persist in pursuing such careers? How do they organise their everyday lives to support their practice? What kind of social, political, economic and cultural conditions are necessary to keep being creative? What are the bedrocks of inspiration that enable people to continue piloting their meandering courses through contemporary society and culture? We are inviting contributors to share some aspects of their own practices as well as to reflect on the wider social and cultural conditions necessary for maintaining a creative practice.

  • What now are the material conditions for being creative?
  • How do we continue to be creative and productive everyday?
  • What methods and practices do we use to shape our creativity?
  • What motivations govern our continued drive and desire to make things?
  • What are our own personal libraries of inspiration?

This series aims to create a library of responses to these urgent questions: which can inspire others in the process of developing their own everyday practices of creativity, that can guide those seeking meaning for their choices, that can set out positions for action around which people can rally.

Through the Public Goods programme we are seeking to map and share different kinds of ‘intangible assets’ that are precious aspects of what binds us to others, to our communities and environments; to map and share new values and ways of valuing those things which are often considered ‘small beer’. This library of inspirations aims to become a beacon for others in shaping and directing their own creative endeavours, built on top of a free-to-use platform for self-publishing (bookleteer) that in itself is a model and tool for ‘public authoring’.

Commissioning Editors : Giles Lane & Haz Tagiuri

Short Run Printed Edition
In addition to publishing free downloadable PDFs and bookreader versions in the Diffusion Library, we plan to print a case-bound set of each series, which will be available to pre-order online once the line up of contributors has been confirmed.

Submissions & Publication Dates
We aim to publish the first series in early December 2011. If you would like to submit a proposal, please contact submissions editor Haz Tagiuri (haz at proboscis dot org dot uk) with an outline. We’re looking for contributions that explore these questions from different perspectives and through different forms such as : diaries, manifestoes, visual essays, poetic speculations, selections from sketch books, comic strips/cartoons, photograph albums, recipes or instruction manuals.


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Home » Publishing on Demand
bookleteer Print On Demand arrives!
Submitted by on March 29, 2010 – 3:58 pmNo Comment

Our first batch of bookleteer POD eBooks arrived and we’re very, very pleased with the results:

We’ll be sending out some samples to friends, colleagues and bookleteers, meanwhile we will start accepting orders for POD eBooks & StoryCubes from April 12th. For more information on bookleteer’s POD service please visit the bookleteer blog.

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Home » Community & Events, Events, Publishing on Demand
Pitch Up & Publish
Submitted by on September 21, 2009 – 12:41 pm4 Comments

Starting in October we will be running regular informal evening workshops for people to literally pitch up and publish using Initially these will be held at our Clerkenwell Studio for up to 15 participants – all you need is a laptop and some content (text /photos/ drawings etc) you’d like to create and share as eBooks or StoryCubes (shareables). We will provide free user accounts to bookleteer and guide you through the steps of preparing and generating your shareables to share online, via email or as physical publications. Once created you can publish them on your own website or, if appropriate, we can publish them on Diffusion.

The first workshop will be held during the week beginning October 12th 2009 (date tbc) between 6.30-9pm.
To reserve a place please email us at diffusion (at)
Participants will be asked to make small donation to cover materials and refreshments.

Click to continue reading “Pitch Up & Publish”

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Home » Publishing on Demand
Submitted by on September 3, 2009 – 6:24 pmNo Comment


Proboscis is very excited to announce – our forthcoming service for creating eBooks and StoryCubes which uses the latest version of the Diffusion Generator. We are planning a private beta test of the service in early October, with a public version launching in 2010.

Bookleteer will allow individuals and organisations to create personalised eBooks and StoryCubes under their own identity (the front covers of Bookleteer-made eBooks can contain a logo image) and with a cover image to make each publication more distinctive and recognisable. Bookleteer supports all 4 types of eBooks (classic/book ; portrait/landscape) as well as single and double-sided StoryCubes. It will additionally support eBooks created in many other languages and non-Roman alphabets (Hindi, Chinese, Greek, Russian etc) and will enable Right-to-Left eBooks to be created for Right-to-Left languages (Arabic, Urdu etc).

Diffusion eBooks new designs

We’ll be developing some pilot projects over the next 6 months to demonstrate Bookleteer’s uses and capabilities, especially around its new API which will allow other websites and systems to call its services to generate eBooks and StoryCubes from external content and datasets.

We’ll be posting regular progress updates on Twitter as well as here.

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Home » eBooks, One-Off Shareables
Blakewalking by Tim Wright
Submitted by on June 24, 2009 – 2:01 pm2 Comments


Download A4 | US Letter PDF 1.4Mb

About : BlakeWalking is a new way of conversing, participating, publishing, performing & *creating* on the hoof. The aim of Blakewalking is to Transform an everday walk into a *Visionary Experience*. We want you to join us out on the streets, on the web & on your mobile – making notes, recording thoughts & feelings, responding to the world we walk through – and the world *within*! See for more details.

Published June 2009

Tim Wright is a digital writer, a cross platform media producer and a director of XPT Ltd. See or follow @moongolfer on Twitter.

*** a landscape ‘classic’ eBook made with the new Diffusion Generator ***

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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


Download A4 | US Letter PDF 1.1Mb

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 » eBooks, One-Off Shareables
Tweetomes : some epithets on practices of pithy exchange by Giles Lane
Submitted by on March 3, 2009 – 8:36 amNo Comment


Download A4 | US Letter PDF 260Kb

About : These 30 epithets form a kind of experimental prose poem that uses the 140 character constraint of the micro-blogging service Twitter as its structure. They were composed as a contribution to the catalogue for Larissa Hjorth’s CU: the presents of co-presence, a project exploring SMS culture. Each epithet was prefaced with the hashtag #tweetome and first published via Twitter on February 22nd 2009. 

Published March 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, Urban & Social Tapestries
Social Tapestries by Giles Lane
Submitted by on November 20, 2008 – 11:21 amNo Comment

Download A4 | US Letter PDF 597Kb

About : Social Tapestries was a programme of projects run by Proboscis between 2004 to 2008, and followed on from the Urban Tapestries project. This eBook provides an overview of our aims and objectives as well as some of the key projects which we undertook, including Snout, Robotic Feral Public Authoring, Conversations and Connections, Everyday Archaeology and Experiencing Democracy.

This publication coincides with the Digital Cities: London’s Future exhibition at the Building Centre in London (21 Nov 2008-17 Jan 2009).

Published November 2008

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 Tapestries; Snout; Mapping Perception; Experiencing Democracy; Everyday 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, eBooks, eNotebooks, Events
Sensory Threads Workshop eNotebook by Proboscis
Submitted by on September 15, 2008 – 11:26 amNo Comment

Download A4 | US Letter PDF 360Kb

About : Proboscis are running a creative workshop on September 18th at ZAIM, Yokohama as part of the Dislocate08 festival. The workshop is the initial stage of our research for Sensory Threads, engaging artists, urbanists, designers, technologists, musicians and dancers in an active investigation into the sensorial patterns and rhythms to be found in our environment. The area around ZAIM in Yokohama will become our research field as we seek out and evidence the recurring, overlapping and intersecting sounds and movements that take place as we act in, and react to, our environment.

Sensory Threads is a work-in-progress to develop an instrument enabling a group of people to create a soundscape reflecting their collaborative experiences in the environment. For this interactive sensory experience, we are designing sensors for detecting environmental phenomena at the periphery of human perception as well as the movement and proximity of the wearers themselves. Possible targets for the sensors may be electro-magnetic radiation, hi/lo sound frequencies, heart rate etc). The sensors’ datastreams will feed into generative audio software, creating a multi-layered and multi-dimensional soundscape feeding back the players’ journey through their environment. Variations in the soundscape reflect changes in the wearers interactions with each other and the environment around them. We aim to premiere the work in 2009.

Sensory Threads is being created by Proboscis in collaboration with Birkbeck College’s Pervasive Computing Lab, The Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary (University of London), the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham and the School of Management at University of Southampton.

Published September 2008.

Proboscis is an artist-led creative studio based in London, UK. The Sensory Threads workshop is being led by Giles Lane and Karen Martin with Frederik Lesage.

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Home » StoryCubes
A Proboscis StoryBox
Submitted by on July 7, 2008 – 1:57 pm3 Comments

Proboscis StoryBox 2008 Proboscis StoryBox 2008

Download A4 only PDF 5.6Mb

Proboscis is proud to announce our first ‘StoryBox’ of digitally printed and die-cut StoryCubes: an 8 cube set printed on both sides which enables people to explore Proboscis, our projects, themes and ideas in three dimensions. 

We have a limited number available to buy from our webstore.

This is the first of a number of StoryBoxes which we will be publishing in the next year. Future ones include creative works by sound artist, Loren Chasse; a special set on our Snout project; a 27 cube set about Social Tapestries and a new edition of the Gordon Pask cubes, first shown last year in the Maverick Machines exhibition,  Edinburgh.

Custom Printed StoryCubes
Proboscis is now offering a service to design and manufacture custom printed StoryCubes – e.g. for marketing campaigns or communication projects – for single or double-sided cubes with as many different StoryCube designs as you like.
Please contact us for pricing at sales(at) 

 Survey Sampling StoryCubes
A set of 7 StoryCubes created for Survey Sampling International Ltd as marketing tools for their offices in the UK, France, Spain, Holland, Germany and Scandinavia.

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Home » eBooks, One-Off Shareables
Pioneers of pie in the sky by Proboscis
Submitted by on May 21, 2008 – 4:03 pmNo Comment

Download A4 | US Letter PDF 1.2Mb

About : a short eBook about Proboscis – what we do, why we do it and who we are.

Proboscis are Alice Angus, Jo Hughes, Giles Lane, Karen Martin, Catherine Williams and Orlagh Woods. Design by Carmen Vela Maldonado.

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Home » Publishing on Demand
Publishing as a conversation
Submitted by on March 6, 2008 – 12:53 pmNo Comment

One of the most transformational aspects of Diffusion as a platform for publishing-on-demand is our ability not only to commission and publish new writing and ideas, but to enable other people to participate by creating their own eBooks and StoryCubes through the Generator and have them included alongside commissioned authors; publishing as a conversation rather than a privileged monologue.

We have been interested since the late 1990s in utilising network technologies to create alternatives to the traditional ‘centre to the margins’ nature of the media; the broadcast and publishing model sustained since the 19th century and only beginning to be seriously challenged in the late 20th Century through the rise of the internet and its distributed network structure. We have been exploring how, through concepts like ‘public authoring’ and ‘cultures of listening’, we can create new ways for people to participate more widely in the creation of the cultures and societies they live in – such as in our Urban Tapestries project and Social Tapestries research programme, as well as our current Anarchaeology projects (with Render in Canada & ICE in Australia).

A key feature of future series of Diffusion commissions will be this conversational aspect – where we will be inviting the public to participate in the series by using the Diffusion Generator to create eBooks & StoryCubes of their own – the best and most relevant of which we will include in the series alongside the authors we commission directly. This will be different to the kinds of conversation that happen through blogging and commenting – creating an eBook or StoryCube is a much more considered affair, requiring time and reflection to create what is, after all, a publication that exists not only on the web but as a physical entity too.

The first of these ‘conversation series’ will be Transformations – we will be announcing the initial commissions in April and publishing the outcomes later in the year, inviting contributions from the public once the first 3 or 4 are available. Watch this space.

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Home » Community & Events, Events, StoryCubes, Urban & Social Tapestries
Art and Cartography
Submitted by on February 11, 2008 – 5:00 pmNo Comment

Images by Stefan Wagner (left) and Antje Lehn (right)

Proboscis recently took part in the ‘zoomandscale’ exhibition at Academy of Fine Arts and Kunsthalle Wien project space, Vienna. The exhibition took place alongside the Art and Cartography symposium, a collaboration between the Technical University Vienna, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and RMIT University, Melbourne.

Proboscis produced a set of twenty-seven StoryCubes illustrating processes and outcomes from the Social Tapestries research programme. This included details of our collaborations, methods, tools, techniques and aims; as well as activities, artworks, interfaces, communities, partners and concepts of public authoring. The display aimed to evoke the collaborative nature of our process by inviting visitors to construct their own StoryCube landscapes and share their thoughts with other members of the audience.

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Home » Publishing on Demand
Diffusion in 2008
Submitted by on February 8, 2008 – 6:25 pmNo Comment

This year Proboscis is planning to commission a new series of Diffusion Shareables, Transformations, and to run a further programme of case studies with both UK and international participants.

The theme of the new series is Transformations – we are planning to commission 10 new titles (both eBooks and StoryCubes) which reflect on the construction of identity: how and why we are who we are. What changes or transformations have we made to become who we are, or who we wished to be? The contributors have been asked to consider the theme from either a personal or a more societal point of view. We aim to announce the list of contributors in April.

This year’s case studies are also themed around two key areas: schools/education and museums, libraries and archives. Over the next few months we will begin inviting participants from professions engaged in these areas (teachers, librarians, archivists, curators etc) to explore with us how the Diffusion ethos and tools can be harnessed to deliver innovative benefits for their communities.

The international case studies will form a key part of our forthcoming Human Echoes programme to create and share bodies of knowledge across cultures, geographies and communities about different attitudes and practices of looking after our human and social ecologies – environmental stewardship. What impact can the collection and sharing of these knowledges have, especially by people in developing countries or indigenous communities who have previously had limited access to publishing and sharing technology? Can this point to next practices in developing local dialogues around sustainability in a global setting? How can the Diffusion ethos of public authoring, cultures of listening and its hybrid digital/material tools effectively contribute to greater dialogue and understanding between global communities?

We are seeking funders/sponsors and partners for these projects – do please get in touch if you would like to support Diffusion or collaborate on the projects.

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Home » eBooks, Urban & Social Tapestries
Urban Tapestries: Archilab 2004 The Naked City by Giles Lane & Nick West
Submitted by on October 10, 2004 – 11:43 pmNo Comment

Urban Tapestries: Archilab 2004 The Naked City

Download A4 only PDF 252Kb

About : an overview of the Urban Tapestries project by Proboscis, created for the Archilab Biennial in 2004.

Published October 2004

Giles Lane is founder and Co-Director of Proboscis.

Nick West bio to come

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Home » eBooks, Urban & Social Tapestries
Social Tapestries: Creative Lab documentation by Giles Lane & Sarah Thelwall
Submitted by on October 10, 2004 – 11:41 pmNo Comment

Social Tapestries: Creative Lab documentation

Download A4 only PDF 336Kb

About : documentation of the outcomes from a Social Tapestries Creative Lab and Bodystorming Experience held at the London School of Economics in September 2004.

Published October 2004

Giles Lane is Founder and Co-Director of Proboscis

Sarah Thelwall bio to come.

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Home » eBooks, Urban & Social Tapestries
Urban Tapestries: Bodystorming Experience documentation by Giles Lane, Alice Angus & Victoria Peckett
Submitted by on April 10, 2004 – 11:38 pmNo Comment

UT: Bodystorming Experience documentation

Download A4 only PDF 412Kb

About : documentation of a bodystorming experience workshop held at the London School of Economics in April 2004.

Published April 2004

Alice Angus is an artist and co-Director of Proboscis.

Giles Lane is founder and co-Director of Proboscis.

Victoria Peckett was an LSE student volunteer on Urban Tapestries.

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Home » eBooks, Urban & Social Tapestries
Urban Tapestries: a brief introduction by Giles Lane
Submitted by on March 10, 2004 – 11:32 pmNo Comment

Urban Tapestries

Download A4 only PDF 164Kb

About : an introduction to the Urban Tapestries project, originally written to accompany a talk by Giles Lane for BBC R&D in March 2004.

Published March 2004

Giles Lane is founder and Co-Director of Proboscis.

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