I’ve been adapting paradicms to support digital exhibitions. One challenge with this type of user-facing project is finding or creating test data that pushes the interface in a realistic way. I experimented with existing freely-available exhibitions from the web but wasn’t satisfied with the limitations of that approach. Eventually I decided to curate content of my own, primarily from Wikipedia.

I called the group of test exhibitions Bildungsroman. Each started with an open-ended question that’s been important in my life:

The contents of each exhibition are answers to the respective question. I took a similar approach in my ThingsWorth project, where the prompt was “Which things are worth learning?”

The digital exhibition format lends itself to the piecemeal time I have to work on personal projects. I keep a list of possible answers to research as well as some additional prompts I’ve brainstormed. I’ve enjoyed thinking about the content, doing some light research, and putting the pages together. The curation process added another dimension to what was a pure software project. Not everything came from Wikipedia, although most of the images did; finding appropriate freely-licensed images elsewhere was challenging.