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// Sophie Lefebvre

Eco-designed to promote biodiversity, Apicalm uses the virtues of bees to help people suffering from joint pain through alternative and preventive medicine. When subjected to a very weak electric current, bees release their venom which, when collected and applied to the skin, provides effective relief with no need for medical staff. The instruction booklet de-dramatizes the procedure by offering a choice of treatments which are respectful of the patient’s lifestyle and movements.

“Preventive medicine is at the core of Chinese culture. Its attitude to the body and medical treatments retains the characteristics that make it so unique and rich, even though western medicine is very much present. Despite the distant and sometimes skewed perception that our countries may have of the situation in China, the Chinese are very concerned about the environment and its impact on their health. They certainly do not overlook these questions. Sophie positioned her project Apicalm in this diverse context. She creates a three-way contract between bees, alternative/preventive medicine and people suffering from joint pain, in which all parties benefit. Bee venom treatments already exist but at the cost of the insect’s life. The procedure is unacceptable and prohibitive: patients have to be stung by the insect which is held in a pair of tweezers. Sophie uses a procedure in which the bees are subjected to a very weak electric current, and thus release their venom which can then be collected.
Instead of injections, skin contact is enough to diffuse the venom: pand consequently there is no more need for nursing staff. Thanks to its intuitive use, the treatment can be administered by patients who take complete control of their joint pain. […] Sophie’s project is sufficiently complete for it to be placed on the market immediately and it will no doubt surprise the industry and users with its positioning and its simplicity. It is remarkable from an ethical, medical and use point of view and these qualities make it a relevant and compelling study for a final degree project which goes far beyond the scope of a school project.”

Mathieu Bernard, Course Leader - Transcultural Design China Studio


Sophie Lefebvre


Understanding other cultures is a major asset for Sophie. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in Shanghai with the Transcultural Design China program. This experience, as well as the internships she carried out in Shanghai at Pointech, Uniplan and Wilddesign, brought her a new vision of design in the context of globalization. The course enabled her to perfect a design methodology focused on the human dimension and innovation.

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