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: StoryCubes

Home » Publishing on Demand
A New Chapter for Diffusion
Submitted by on October 15, 2012 – 5:44 pm2 Comments

Its been 12 years since we published Performance Notations, the first series of Diffusion eBooks, and launched our unique publishing format on an unsuspecting world. In that time, we have commissioned and facilitated hundreds of original eBooks and StoryCubes by an incredibly diverse range of people from all kinds of disciplines and backgrounds. In that time we also began to evolve our own free and online software platform for people without professional design skills to be able to create their own eBooks and StoryCubes. Our first proof of concept prototype was made in the summer of 2003. We then spent a few years building a fully working version – the Diffusion Generator – which was online between 2006 and 2009. In September 2009 we launched bookleteer, a whole new set of ways for making and sharing eBooks and StoryCubes.

A New Place for Future eBooks & StoryCubes
This summer we made a series of technical changes to bookleteer that allow users to share their own publications directly with others via a Public Library. Each user has their own personal profile page listing all their shared publications (for instance, here’s mine) and each publication has its page listing both the downloadable PDFs and the bookreader online version (for example, see Material Conditions: Epilogue). We have further exciting developments in the pipeline too.

To continue our long tradition of commissioning and publishing new work, we have created a new Curated by Proboscis library which will, from now on, be where all new commissions and featured eBooks and StoryCubes will be listed. This website (the Diffusion Library) will remain online indefinitely as an archive of more than 12 years of pushing the boundaries of what we think of as publishing and creative practice.

As part of these changes we are also launching a new monthly publication – the Periodical – which will select, print and send out to subscribers some of the most exciting, experimental, imaginative and insipring eBooks created and shared on bookleteer. Anyone can take part – just sign up, make and share something on bookleteer. Each month we’ll pick one eBook to print and send out. We are also devising special projects, like Field Work, that will enable people to participate in other ways. And we are developing partnerships and collaborations to commission new series that will also be distributed as part of the Periodical’s monthly issues.

Subscribe to the Periodical and get bookleteering!

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  • Alva
    I actually had to discuss this specific post, “Diffusion” smallgig. com with my own pals on facebook itself. I…
    Comment posted on 3-1-2013 at 21:29
    “Diffusion” was genuinely compelling and useful! In the present day universe that is very hard to achieve. Many…
    Comment posted on 1-11-2013 at 16:54

Home » Publishing on Demand
10 Years of Diffusion
Submitted by on September 17, 2010 – 1:10 pm4 Comments

10 years ago this month we published the very first series of Diffusion eBooks, Performance Notations, launching our particular brand of hand-made hybrid digital/paper publishing on an unsuspecting public. Over the past decade we have followed that series with several others of our own (and a few by partners and collaborators) such as : Species of Spaces, Liquid Geography, CODE, Short Work, Topographies and Tales & Transformations and published well over 400 eBooks (and nearly 200 StoryCubes too). In 2002 we published the design schematics allowing others to create their own Diffusion eBooks (with recent updates for all 4 design variations and right-to-left reading too) and followed that in 2006 with the first version of our online web application for creating eBooks & StoryCubes, the Diffusion Generator. Hundreds of eBooks and StoryCubes were created (not all published here) by its users over a two and a half-year period. For a more in depth history of Diffusion read this post from 2007.

In 2008 we won a small grant from the Technology Strategy Board to build a new prototype service that would be vastly more powerful and flexible than the old Generator – what eventually became The alpha version was launched at the end of September 2009 and we now have several hundred users who have created almost one thousand eBooks and StoryCubes with it during its first year, including some in languages such as Arabic and Hindi. In the past 6 months we’ve rolled out lots of new features, such as new sizes, customisable front covers and our exclusive Publish & Print On Demand service. We have also created a crowdfunding scheme for collaborators, partners and friends to support bookleteer’s technical development, Alpha Club. We’ve run a series of events, Pitch Up & Publish, introducing bookleteer to new users – both in our own studio in Clerkenwell and around the country with the Empty Shops Network.

To kick-off Diffusion’s next decade we’re devising a new series of events, Pitch In & Publish, and adopting a new model of participatory publishing for our curated series. Rather than selecting individuals to create eBooks as we have done for previous series we will host events where people can collaborate in designing and creating a series of publications with others. Proboscis will define the series theme and individual topics for each issue, which will be put together during a one-day event. We will be publishing the collaborative publications (which could be an eBook or a series of StoryCubes) on this site and we will be inviting the participants to use bookleteer to create their own personal contributions to the series. A limited edition run of the publication will be printed using the PPOD service for participants. Pitch In & Publish will launch in October 2010 with the first series, City As Material. Topics will include: river, streetscapes, skyline and underside.

Details on dates, guests, topics and how to participate –

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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 » Dodolab, Learning, Schools & Education, StoryCubes
StoryCubes at Dodolab #3
Submitted by on May 13, 2009 – 5:25 pmNo Comment

Combined word cloud from Days 1 to 3 of the DodoLab at WEEC5

Day 3 Word Cloud from DodoLab at WEEC5

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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 » StoryCubes, Transformations
3 Cubic Conundrums by Raqs Media Collective
Submitted by on January 29, 2009 – 12:19 pmNo Comment


Download A4 only PDF 660Kb

About : 3 Cubic Conundrums by Raqs Media Collective, 2009
 – The Curse of Invariable Good Fortune
 – Door to Door to Door
 – The Fugitive Never Escapes Himself

Published January 2009  in the Diffusion Transformations Series

The Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula & Shuddhabrata Sengupta) has been variously described as artists, media practitioners, curators, researchers, editors and catalysts of cultural processes. Their work, which has been exhibited widely in major international spaces and events, locates them squarely along the intersections of contemporary art, historical enquiry, philosophical speculation, research and theory – often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters. They live and work in Delhi, based at Sarai, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, an initiative they co-founded in 2000. They are members of the editorial collective of the Sarai Reader series, and have curated “The Rest of Now” and co-curated “Scenarios” for Manifesta 7.

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Home » Learning, Schools & Education, StoryCubes
Virtual StoryCubes
Submitted by on October 18, 2008 – 7:19 pmNo Comment

Staff and students of the digital photography course at London Southbank University have developed virtual StoryCubes in Second Life: 

In Second Life we can use StoryCubes as poetic and playful devices for displaying snaps in three dimensions, allowing us to reveal different perspectives and make new connections and associations. We can use them as a group to build a collective photo-narrative out of our individual snapshots around second life, and can come to a shared narrative that allow us to see new perspectives.


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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
Alec Finlay StoryCubes at Arc Projects, Sofia, Bulgaria
Submitted by on July 18, 2008 – 6:41 pmNo Comment


Alec Finlay has made two wooden box versions of his StoryCubes which are being exhibited in Thoughts Within Thoughts at Arc Projects Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria (21st June -26th July 2008).

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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 » 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 » StoryCubes
StoryCubes by Alec Finlay
Submitted by on April 20, 2008 – 12:32 pmOne Comment

Alec Finlay Cube 1Alec Finlay Cube 2

cube (after Ludwig Wittgenstein) PDF 1.5Mb
cube (score/fold) PDF 1.5Mb

About : This pair of cube poems can be viewed – or made – in the context of Finlay’s other poetic forms: the mesostic name poem; circle poems and the related windmill turbine text designs and wordrawings; and the grid poem and sliding puzzle poem objects derived from these. The text ‘your finger / my thumb’ was originally used in a performance collaboration with Dan Civico, for which Finlay made a handwritten circular wordrawing from these two phrases, while Civico folded origami cubes. Together with Guy Moreton and Michael Nedo, Finlay published Ludwig Wittgenstein: There Where You Are Not (Black Dog, 2005), a consideration of the Wittgenstein house at Skjolden in Norway.

Published April 2008

Alec Finlay (1966, Scotland) – Artist, poet and publisher, lives and works in Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Finlay has produced a series of card cut-out nest-box schema, in collaboration with Jo Salter (available free from His most recent publications are two fields of wheat seeded with a poppy-poem (Milton Keynes Gallery); Specimen Colony (Liverpool University Press) and One Hundred Year Star-Diary (platform projects). He is is currently showing in herz:rasen at Kunstlerhaus Vienna (until July 6), where he is exhibiting Labanotation: the Archie Gemmil goal (2002), a collaboration with Robin Gillanders; and now then at the Bluecoat (Liverpool). His next exhibition, thoughts within thoughts, a duet with Pravdoliub Ivanov will open at Arc projects (Sofia) in late June 2008.

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Home » Publishing on Demand
Diffusion Shareables Film
Submitted by on April 11, 2008 – 8:50 amOne Comment

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  • JoycMAjiski
    Hey yu guys I am at a friends place using his computor with most recent flash viewer and a…
    Comment posted on 4-27-2008 at 02:46

Home » Community Projects, StoryCubes
Greenhill StoryCubes by Gillian Cowell
Submitted by on March 26, 2008 – 1:21 pmNo Comment

Greenhill StoryCubesGreenhill StoryCubesGreenhill StoryCubesGreenhill StoryCubes

Greenhill StoryCubes

Each cube contains a theme with six relating statements. All statements have been said by project participants.

Related eBook: Exploring Greenhill by Gillian Cowell

Greenhill Project

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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 » StoryCubes
Maverick StoryCubes
Submitted by on February 11, 2008 – 4:16 pmOne Comment

Last summer Giles and I created a set of eight StoryCubes for the Maverick Machines exhibition curated by Richard Brown. At a size of 20cm x 20cm each, these were far larger than the diffusion Generator StoryCubes. For precision they were produced using a laser cutter and made out of mount board. As a result of their size, people’s interaction with the cubes can be more sociable and collaborative than with the smaller StoryCubes. These cubes have to be grasped and manipulated using two hands and people can work together more easily to create landscapes.

The images on the StoryCubes are drawn mainly from Pask’s own work and show the projects, Musicolour, Colloquy of Mobiles, SAKI (Self-Adaptive Keyboard Instructor), Entailment Mesh and Eureka, as well as photographs of Gordon himself. Other images show work by Richard Brown inspired by Pask’s work with electro-chemical computing. Gordon Pask was a cybernetician who worked across disciplines including education, art, architecture, theatre and analogue computing and the StoryCubes aimed to illustrate this diversity of interests.

Pask Parallels written by Richard Brown to accompany the exhibition has been published through the diffusion Generator and is available here, while the eBook A Manual for Maverick Machines describes the selection of images on the StoryCubes and can be downloaded here.

Images on the StoryCubes copyright and courtesy of Richard Brown, Paul Pangaro and Jasia Reichardt.

Maverick Machines ran from 24th July to the 10th August 2007 at the Matthew Gallery, Edinburgh School of Architecture.

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Home » Publishing on Demand
Re-organising the Diffusion Library
Submitted by on February 8, 2008 – 5:52 pmNo Comment

The Diffusion Library section has been re-organised to make it easier to browse for titles:

  • Each eBook series has its own library page
  • Links to the 10 most recent publications
  • A chronological list now links directly to every publication’s individual post

We hope these changes allow visitors to enjoy the full range of Diffusion titles more quickly and simply – do please send us your comments and suggestions.

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Home » eBooks, One-Off Shareables
A Manual for Maverick Machines by Karen Martin
Submitted by on December 19, 2007 – 7:11 pmOne Comment

A Manual for Maverick Machines

Download A4 | US Letter PDF 757Kb

About : The Maverick Machines exhibition, curated by Richard Brown, displayed projects inspired by the work of Gordon Pask. Giles Lane and I created a set of large StoryCubes to illustrate various themes found in Pask’s work. This eBook describes those themes and the images contained on the StoryCubes.

Maverick Machines took place at the Matthew Gallery, Edinburgh School of Architecture in July 2007.

Published December 2007

Karen Martin’s work focuses on the interactions and inter-relations between people in urban environments, and the social, spatial and technological networks these form. Karen is currently an EngD candidate at University College London where she obtained an MSc Virtual Environments from the Bartlett School of Architecture in 2003.

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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 » Publishing on Demand
New! Improved!
Submitted by on November 10, 2007 – 1:50 amNo Comment

Welcome to the new look Diffusion website. This blog will track all of the various projects, publications, authors and collaborations which take place around the DIFFUSION eBooks, the DIFFUSION Generator and the StoryCubes. On this site you will find posts about each eBook we have published (and in the future StoryCubes too), posts about the authors as well as the various series of eBooks we have published over the years. The site also has a page with details on how to make eBooks and StoryCubes, as well as the Library listing all the published eBooks in a single, browsable page. There is also information about Proboscis’ DIFFUSION Generator – a prototype publishing-on-demand service we are currently testing (examples of which are listed on the blog), with details about how to join our private beta trial.

We are also inviting people to add reviews of their favourite eBooks as comments to individual posts, as well as comments about how people are using them; for instance we know of one example where the Performance Notations series was used as a ‘set text’ for students at an art school. As we add new eBooks and StoryCubes to the site we hope that it can become a more useful forum for sharing ideas about how they can be used as well as a site for downloading the publications themselves. Enjoy…

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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 » StoryCubes
How Can StoryCubes Be Used?
Submitted by on November 7, 2007 – 1:34 amNo Comment

At Proboscis we use StoryCubes as poetic and playful devices for exploring ideas in three dimensions, allowing us to reveal different perspectives and make new connections and associations. We also use them as an engagement tool in our public projects, where they are particularly helpful in enabling groups of people to build shared narratives that allow them to see new perspectives. Here are some ideas for how you might use them:

  • as a brainstorming tool to help people share and discuss ideas in workshops, conferences and creative labs
  • as an evaluation tool to build up multi layered and multi faceted responses to an event (conference, workshop, performance etc)
  • as mnemonic devices helping participants recall activities and outcomes of workshops and mentoring sessions
  • in school projects to help students collaborate on group work, enhance negotiation and debating skills and develop tactile and spatial construction skills
  • in community projects for intergenerational work – helping people see each others’ perspectives on shared issues
  • StoryCubes are very effective with young children: make your own alphabet and number cubes or create StoryCubes with photos of friends and family to assist recognition and memory skills
  • for storytelling games – where each participant adds elements of a story to their cube and take turns in telling a story from the visible elements of a group of StoryCubes
  • for storyboarding: use the StoryCubes to help organise storylines for writing, animations or films.

Examples and pictures of StoryCubes
Upload photos of your StoryCubes with the tag “storycubes” to Flickr and view different ideas for how to use them:
or join our public Flickr group and share your photos and ideas of how to use them:

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Home » Publishing on Demand
What is the Diffusion Generator?
Submitted by on September 5, 2007 – 3:45 pmNo Comment

Proboscis has created an online application which enables people to create their own DIFFUSION eBooks without needing graphic design skills or access to professional DTP software. The service is currently in ‘beta’ testing by invitation only. However, if you would like to participate please write to us describing what you would like to use it for.

DIFFUSION offers exciting possibilties 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 teching 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 can be shared electronically (as PDF files), by photocopy or as hand-made paper books – samizdat for the digital age.

The DIFFUSION format is 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
  • distributing lecture notes to students
  • creating lesson plans and learning diaries for students
  • creating a portable family picture album
  • creating a visual record of a journey
  • makinga personal diary or journal
  • creating a mini-portfolio for artists
  • notebooks & diaries for fieldwork (e.g. for anthropology or ethnography)
  • local newsletters or pamphlets
  • an iterative tool for brainstorming & innovation workshops

Please note that at present the Generator is only available for testing by invitation

Development Team:
Giles Lane, Phil Ayres & Karen Martin

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Home » Publishing on Demand, StoryCubes
What are Story Cubes?
Submitted by on September 5, 2007 – 3:41 pmOne Comment

StoryCubes are a tactile thinking and storytelling tool for exploring relationships and narratives. Each face of the cube can illustrate or describe an idea, a thing or an action, placed together it is possible to build up multiple narratives or explore the relationships between them in a novel three-dimensional way. StoryCubes can be folded in two different ways, giving each cube twelve possible faces – and thus two different ways of telling a story, two musings around an idea. Like books turned inside out and upside down they are read by turning and twisting in your hand and combining in vertical and horizontal constructions.


How can StoryCubes be used?
At Proboscis we use StoryCubes as poetic and playful devices for exploring ideas in three dimensions, allowing us to reveal different perspectives and make new connections and associations. We also use them as an engagement tool in our public projects, where they are particularly helpful in enabling groups of people to build shared narratives that allow them to see new perspectives. In this way they assist with storytelling and discussion in conjunction with bodystorming and other research processes that we use.

We have found StoryCubes to be very effective in stimulating group discussions and have used them successfully in our work in schools (see our Everyday Archaeology project). The process that a group of people engage in when building a StoryCube ‘landscape’ creates a tactile and tangible environment for negotiation and sharing, for seeing the different implications and connections that the stories we tell have from the perspectives of others.

StoryCubes Flick Group

StoryCubes tagged in Flickr

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Home » eBooks, One-Off Shareables
This is not a book by Karen Martin
Submitted by on June 11, 2007 – 12:27 pmOne Comment

This is not a book

Download A4 | US Letter PDF 2.1Mb

About : a playful exploration of DIFFUSION, eBooks, StoryCubes and the DIFFUSION Generator.

Published June 2007

Karen Martin’s work focuses on the interactions and inter-relations between people in urban environments, and the social, spatial and technological networks these form. Karen is currently an EngD candidate at University College London where she obtained an MSc Virtual Environments from the Bartlett School of Architecture in 2003.

This is not a book A4 This is not a book US
thisisnotabook A4 shotcode thisisnotabook shotcode

1 comment - Latest by:
  • Lisa
    I think your work is fascinating.
    Comment posted on 2-21-2008 at 06:22