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Website of the Week (114)

The Centre for Dream Analysis (CDR) is a fictional agency created within the ‘Falling Water’ TV series. Its website extends the experience of the TV series into real life and allows us to immerse ourselves in their universe.

The website works on two levels. For users who already watch the show it allows them to engage further with the world created in the series and start to feel part of it. Users can also use the site as a platform to explore the characters and their connections with each other further.

On the other hand users who have not seen (or maybe not even heard of) the show and have managed to stumble across the site will have a different experience, but one that incites curiosity and acts as a promotional hook.

The homepage is focused on dreams analysis; asking you to input a description of your dream into 200-500 characters. Style-wise, the page introduces a high tech, futuristic science style, which ties in well to the overall experience, giving the feeling that you are part of a study.

Once you have submitted your description, your dream is analysed and key words are picked out from your description. These keywords can be selected and an analysis is given to help you decode your dream. This information is all displayed over a line drawn brain shape, the lines of which occasionally flicker and move; reminiscent of electrical impulses in the synapses of the brain. Your keywords are also displayed along with glowing coloured areas on the brain diagram, in a similar way to an MRI scan of brain activity.

You are then able to view custom art of your dream, which comes in the form of kaleidoscopic patterns. I don’t fully understand the relevance of the custom art (but I should mention that I haven’t seen the TV series). It is encouraged that the user shares this custom art on social media, but personally I can’t see many people doing that as it doesn’t seem to hold much meaning. However, if it is shared this will obviously continue to draw in more potential viewers.

A lot of people are interested in analysing what their dreams mean, even if they don’t necessarily believe the analysis, it’s still a bit of fun. This part of the site plays on that intrigue and helps to pull new viewers in.

As you start exploring the site more, you begin to find links to other pages that pull you deeper and deeper into the Falling Water world. The main areas to explore come in the form of a Dreams Survey and Dreamer Files.

The dreams survey is a short series of questions, still set out in a sci-fi laboratory style but overlaid onto micro snippets of film and curious images. The multiple choice options are presented within a pattern of lines that create shapes and relate to the background image. Once you have finished the survey you are then told that you are eligible to be part of the study, making you feel further part of this fictional world.

The dream files are more aimed towards people who have seen the show, allowing you to read up on the characters profiles in waking state and sleeping state and see how they are connected with each other.

I love how real the experience feels on the site; there are very few areas on the site that suggest it’s based on a TV programme. Even the About CDR page has fictional information about the company, allowing you to really lose yourself into their universe. I haven’t seen the show yet but I’m definitely intrigued now!