I was running. Everyone was running in the same direction, shouting. The Clan members were chasing us. It was panic. Suddenly, I realized. «But... I’m actually dreaming! It’s all right! I’m sleeping and I feel great.» I slowed down and started walking. «On the other hand, usually as soon as any semblance of lucidity appears in my dreams, it wakes me up. I don’t want to, I’m too good. Heidi, stop thinking about it.» The Clan is getting closer. This is the story of a lucid dream I had a few weeks ago. It might sound familiar to you.
Indeed, a lucid dream is a dream in which the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming and not awake. There are different stages of lucidity in dreaming, ranging from a low level of awareness that something is wrong, to full control of the dream. A sleep cycle consists of five stages of sleep. The fifth stage is REM sleep. During this phase, brain activity increases in a manner comparable to an awake stage. The REM sleep phase is one of the most mysterious cycles, and its complete functioning is still studied by neuroscientists. It is during this phase that we dream, and therefore, lucid dream.
Having lucid dreams is not innate in everyone but like any other discipline, it can be learned. There are different techniques to train and predispose one’s body to lucid dreams. BASIC TECHNIQUES -Induction techniques (reality checks, repeating many times "i will lucid dream tonight" before sleeping, the wake back to bed technique...) -Keep a dream Journal and analyse it -Have a good sleep ADDITIONAL TECHNIQUES -Pills, Herbs, Vitamins and Essential Oils which are supposed to predispose your body to have lucid dreams. -Sleep masks because they are blocking unwanted light, but also because some of them offer synchronized lights designed to simulate REM sleep, noise-canceling earplugs or monitoring of your sleep cycle. Ex : Remee Lucid Dream Mask, Somni Mask, NovaDreamer lucid dream mask... -Specifics sounds like binaural Beats -Meditation Lucid dreaming and meditation are two concepts that have a lot of similarities – they both need a higher level of awareness. Just like lucid dreaming, meditation is also associated with a lengthy list of amazing benefits. Most importantly, practitioners of meditation often report increased lucid dreaming, creativity, positive thinking, memory recall, and better sleep.
A few years ago, I realized that my dreams had a significant impact on my moods once I woke up, positively or negatively, and by talking about it around me I realized that this was the case for many people. I wondered whether lucid, could have benefits or dangers. According to the studies carried out to date, lucid dreams would allow one to unbridle one's creativity, live unattainable experiences such as flying, overcome one's anxieties, (it has notably been used to help treat recurring nightmares, post-traumatic stress syndrome, night terrors and depression), and improve one's abilities. Indeed, some top athletes with the ability to dream lucidly use it to train on technical movements without risk of injury. The dangers would be relatively few. The only ones that can be postponed are the possibility of having a less restful sleep or having difficulty falling back to sleep after a lucid dream, and a possible confusion between dream and reality or a confinement in the dream world in people suffering from mental health disorders.
It has always been said of me that I am a dreamer. Since I was a child, I have dreamed a lot, both awake and asleep, and I am fascinated by the images that our brains are capable of creating. I had my first totally lucid dream when I was about 8 years old and it happens very regularly that I am able to control my dreams even if I don't necessarily realize it in the moment but rather when I wake up. I have kept a dream journal for many years and I often tell my dreams to my family and friends. I don't remember when i discovered the topic of lucid dreaming but I've been talking about it randomly for years and people always ask me a lot of questions, so I realized that it was a really unknown subject and that wasn't only interesting me. That's why I decided to deal with this subject for my thesis project.
The first question that came to my mind after this research was Given all the benefits lucid dreams can bring compared to its very low risks, and people’s general fascination for the subject, why is it so little known?
Here are some precedents. What we can notice is that they are all more treating the topic of dreams in general and not lucid dreaming.
I conducted a survey, i got 262 answers, and here are some key data elements.
From all this research i took out 5 insights.
Seing those insights my design challenge was the following: How might we provide people a way to know more about lucid dreaming, stay motivated during the training, and share their experiences?
Let's take Alix, a 26 years old student.
The goal of the project is to intervene at the earliest steps.
Here are some already existing things about lucid dreaming. Lucid Dream Society - Platform to learn how to make lucid dreams. Lucid Dreaming Course -Six-week lucid dreaming course by Dr. Denholm Aspy. Awoken - A Lucid Dreaming App. L’Onironaute - Digital platforms to tell your dreams. World of lucid dreaming website - platform with dream-inspired artwork from the website readers. As you can see, some of them are allowing their users to discover the topic, some to experiment lucid dreaming techniques, some to share their experiences, but none are providing the full experience.
So that's why i created the project Oniro, from the greek "oneiros" meaning dream. Oniro is a unique interractive exhibition-experience. By living the exhibition Oniro, you will have the opportunity to experience 8 « bubbles ». Each bubble is a room in the exhibition or your own home. These bubbles will allow you to discover what lucid dreaming is, to experiment with some techniques to have them, to practice at home, and to share your experiences.
To be as concrete as possible, I have chosen a potential place that could be ideal for the first edition of this exhibition, which is La Gaîté Lyrique in paris. Here are some pics of the exhibitions it already hosted and it is exactly the spirit of the exhibition Oniro.
When I imagined this exhibition, I wondered how to organise the different bubbles. If the path taken by the visitors should be totally free as on the left or more guided as on the right. And knowing that my first target are beginners in lucid dreaming, the best option seemed to be the one a little more guided on the right.
So now let's take a closer look on each bubble The first one is the discover bubble. It provides a really clear introduction about what is conscious dreaming, its history, its benefits and dangers, what are the many different techniques to have them etc so all the basic knowledge about lucid dreams.
The second bubble is a bubble to experiment a technique that helps to have lucid dreams. This one is providing meditation classes with a teacher.
The third one is another experiment bubble. This bubble is providing a mental imagery training. Mental imagery is the ability to represent something visually in our mind and its a capacity you can train.
The 4th bubble is the last one to experiment. This bubble provides the experience of sensorial isolation in partnership with the company Meiso which is a sensorial isolation center.
The 5th bubble is a special one because it is the training that visitors can do after the exhibition by going home and applying all the knowledge they have acquired. Oniro will also provide an access to a Facebook group reuniting all the new lucid dreamers apprentices so they can share their experiences or struggles and stay motivated all together as a lucid dreamers community.
The sixth bubble is one of the two share bubbles. It's a room full of testimonials from lucid dreamers which can be written, painted, told in audios... The aim is also for the next editions to have visitors who discovered lucid dreaming thanks to Oniro and come back to give their testimonies the years after.
The second share bubble is a conference room where the visitors can attend conferences given by lucid dreamers or sleep doctors for example and to whom they can ask all the questions they want.
The last bubble is the museum store. The store provides all you can need to train or know more like memory games, guided dreams diaries, sleep masks, movies or book about dreaming, etc
For the colors of Oniro, my inspiration was the work of the photographer Maria Svarbova whose colors are very dreamy. The object of this series is swimming pools, so I also liked the metaphor with conscious and unconscious as you enter the water and everything is more blurred.
Here is the logotype, the typefaces and the graphic elements of Oniro. It's an organic, mysterious and aleatory identity just as lucid dreams are.
Here are two of the posters of the communication campaign of the exhibition. It's showing different things you can do by lucid dreaming so it's arousing people's curiosity.
This is the event on the website of La Gaîté Lyrique.