I conducted a quick study on the job of Lifeguard. As previously said, I know this job particularly well as it was my student job for 8 years. In the mind of people, it is easy you just spend your days waiting. It is true for the last part, you wait a lot but it is not easy. Your body is in pause, but you have to fight to not put your mind in pause too, as you have to constantly be alert to detect if someone need help; the noise is also very tiring. Moreover, most of the interventions are preventives. It is like ‘Minority report’ you alert or even punish before something happen, trying to visualise what could happen in the future, preventing potential accident to happen.

As the Lifeguard do, should we all keep an eye, not on people swimming, but on the planet and prevent disaster ? Could we all become PLANETguard. The question is how to get people to watch and prevent the disaster ?

First experimentation

What I have done so far is ask my college in France to answer 10 open questions, like I would have done in an interview, but by sending a form it allow me for a first stage to get more answer from more people, with taking little of their time instead of 1 hour. I managed to get 5 answers. The results are in french and anonymous.



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The questions are around the way they invigilate the swimming pool, how they manage to stay focussed, if they choose to prevent or wait for a problem to happen, and how they detect that something bad could happen. Finally I ask if they needed a tool or an invention to help them to do a better job. In the answers I had, they insist a lot on the prevention, someone even say that it is a bit like being a voyeur. Concentration comes with experience because you can detect problem before they arrive, they develop a 6th sense. One person told me that first she use prevention but if the person doesn’t care she wait for the problem to happen so the public take consciousness of the risk. To do the job well they recommend to move, be in action, fight agains monotony, and prevention is the key word. The would suggest camera under the water, give a better education to the people, and a good one is create bionics ears to detect calls for help.


From the answers, I should find something to educate / create a detector of danger / an alert system / a way to see under the planet, listen to it more carefully / foster mobility.

Second experimentation



I ask them to attach a camera to the chair from where they work to film their face. I wanted to analyse the face and the method form another point of view (not my internal one). Thanks to Jean Michel and Simon for doing it. I got two video, from a quite swimming pool in my home town Le Mans. They could not instal it in one of the busy swimming pool for security and privacy policy purpose. I only have 2 persons, and you feel that there is no one to look after. At first I thought I would not be able tu use the videos at all. But After looking at it few times, even if there is not a lot of people to look after, they have their eyes almost constantly on the pool. They seems relax at first but when you zoom on the eyes you can detect the concentration. it should be like it for everyone towards the planet: live your life: be relax, but have constantly an eye on it, without even have consciousness of it.

From these reflection I made this little clip.