One of the most fun things we’ve done this year has to be the little project we ran as part of the Soho Food Feast : helping some of the children of Soho Parish Primary School produce their own reviews of the amazing foods on offer in specially designed eNotebooks. The children would choose something from one of the many stalls, bring it to be photographed and a Polaroid PoGo photo sticker printed out an stuck into one of the eNotebooks, then they’d write about what the dish looked, smelt, felt, sounded and tasted like. This idea of doing the reviews through the 5 senses, along with the great introduction, was contributed by Fay Maschler, the restaurant critic of the London Evening Standard and one of the Food Feast committee members.
We’ve now published a compilation of the best reviews which is available via the Diffusion Library as downloadable eBooks and in the bookreader format. We’re also printing a short run edition which will go the children themselves (and a few for the school to sell to raise funds – get one while you can!). Thanks to everyone who took part in this project – the children of Soho Parish and Soho Youth, members of the Food Feast Committee (Anita Coppins, Wendy Cope, Clare Lynch), Rachel Earnshaw (Head Teacher) and the team here : Mandy Tang, Haz Tagiuri & Stefan Kueppers.
Diffusion is the downloadable book format developed by Proboscis in 1999. Since then it has become one of our key tools for research and public engagement, as well as a platform for commissioning new writing and artists books. The design schematics were published in 2001 for anyone to use for their own purposes.
In 2003 Proboscis began developing an online web application, Diffusion Generator, to enable people without graphic design skills or access to professional DTP software to create their own eBooks and StoryCubes. The Generator was operational from November 2006 until August 2009 and used for a programme of Case Studies and Residencies at Proboscis for artists, writers, curators and community development workers.
In late 2008 Proboscis received funding from the Technology Strategy Board to develop an API for third party websites to use its services. In September 2009 we subsequently launched the bookleteer public authoring/self-publishing platform.
The Diffusion website hosts hundreds of published eBooks and StoryCubes – from September 2012 it is maintained as an archive site with all new publications being shared directly through bookleteer’s public library and curated by Proboscis pages.
- bookleteer: Giles Lane, Stefan Kueppers, Yasir Assam, Joe Flintham and Simon Whiteside
- Generator v1: Giles Lane, Phil Ayres & Karen Martin
- StoryCube Design: Giles Lane and Alice Angus
- Initial Diffusion Design: Giles Lane and Paul Farrington with Nima Falatoori
Funded by Collaborative Arts Unit, Arts Council England; Technology Strategy Board
*** Buy Packs of Blank StoryCubes ***
What Are StoryCubes?
StoryCubes are a tactile tool for thinking, storymaking and telling that are fantastic for exploring relationships and narratives. Each of the six sides 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 three-dimensions. StoryCubes can be folded in two different ways, giving each cube twelve possible faces – and thus two different ways of telling a story, interior and exterior, to reveal different perspectives and make new connections and associations.
Visit our new website for more ideas, uses and case studies: storycubes.net or read our handy guide below :
Multiple sizes : Proboscis has recently introduced a new medium size StoryCube (82x82x82mm) to complement the original size (55x55x55mm) and our custom exhibition size (228x228x228mm). The small and medium sizes are available both a blank cubes to buy and as templates in bookleteer for creating personalised cubes. The exhibition size cubes can be ordered as custom items – please contact us for more information.
Buy Packs of Blank StoryCubes
You can buy packs of blank StoryCubes from our online store from £19.99 (Original size 48 cubes, UK delivery) and £24.99 (Medium size 27cubes, UK delivery). The cubes are professionally manufactured using FSC-approved sustainable card stocks.
Users of Proboscis’ free bookleteer service can design their own StoryCubes and print them out at home (or work) on standard paper or card. Alternatively you can use our Short Run printing service to order professionally printed and die-cut cubes on 300 micron FSC-approved card. Minimum print run of 50 copies per StoryCube design and minimum order of 250 printed cubes. Join bookleteer today for free and create your own StoryCubes (and Diffusion eBooks).
Some ideas for using StoryCubes
- as a brainstorming tool to help people share 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
- 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 to their cube and take turns in telling a story with them
- for storyboarding: to help organise storylines for writing, animations or films
- for urban gaming: use StoryCubes as props in urban game scenarios.
- Get more ideas, suggestions and case studies from our new website : storycubes.net
StoryCube Design Services
Proboscis offers several design services for StoryCubes. Please contact us for pricing options.
- 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 StoryCubes and customised handouts for distribution to delegates.
- Workshop Facilitation: Proboscis can facilitate StoryCube workshops at conferences 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.
- Custom Printed StoryCubes: Proboscis can design and manufacture individually designed StoryCubes – e.g. as give-aways for events, objects for urban gaming experiences, marketing campaigns or other projects – for single or double-sided cubes with as many different StoryCube designs as you like (minimum order 250 StoryCubes). You can design your own StoryCubes using our bookleteer service and order them to be printed on digitally printed and de-cut card. See above for sample costs.
- 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.