ECAL x On : interdisciplinary collaboration to rethink the brand's universe

ECAL x On : interdisciplinary collaboration to rethink the brand's universe

Know-how
type design, photography direction, calligraphy, still life, fashion, craftsmanship
Published
Sept. 12, 2022

Following a collaboration with the Swiss avant-garde brand On, ECAL is proud to present the interdisciplinary work carried out jointly by the 2nd year students of the Product Design, Photography and Type Design Masters.


In 2010 On created a new running shoe sole with a disruptive approach: CloudTec®. Built around a set of “flexible elements”, On soles ensure cushioned landing and propulsive take-off for a unique running sensation. This design has since been adopted by running enthusiasts and professionals alike. Nowadays, the search for new materials and technologies encourages the brand to explore the future of soles. It is in this perspective that the collaboration between two leading entities in the Swiss design scene – ECAL and On – was born. Through a transversal approach to innovation, 34 students on a Master’s programme at ECAL have developed a series of futuristic prototypes, rethinking the brand’s universe, and exploring new writing systems. The interdisciplinary project brings together three Master’s programmes: MA in Product Design, MA in Photography and MA in Type Design. Each year, these specializations attract students from all over the world.

Product Design

Under the direction of Christophe Guberan, guest designer of the MA in Product Design and with the support of Thilo Alex Brunner, head of design at On, 7 students present elaborate prototypes exploring the possibilities offered by innovative materials, techniques, and creative processes. A resolutely prospective approach that relies on speculative design to think the sole of tomorrow.  

Photography

Under the guidance of the photographer Maxime Guyon, 12 students have given shape to what On’s visual universe could be in the future. In close collaboration with the MA in Product Design, they present the universe and visual identity of the sole of 2040.

Type Design

Under the direction of Larissa Kasper, artistic director invited by the MA in Type Design, 14 students question the construction of written language, and explore its futuristic developments, both alphabetical and ideographic. For On, they offer a new writing system, which will accompany the sole of the future.

STUDENTS

Product Design : Tsubasa Koshide - Stefan TroendleClemens Neureiter - Paul Rees - Lukas Lüttgen - Antoine Jacquat - Manuel Steffan  

Photography : Emma Bedos - Mattia Dagani Rio - Clemens Fischer - Nikolai Frerichs - Mahalia Taje Giotto - Hikaru Hori - Yshao Lin - Alisa Strub - Yang Su

Type DesignLaura Zsófia Csocsán - Dominik Bissem - Charly Derouault - Alexandre Lescieux - Stefan Fitze - Amélie Gallay - Elena Baranowski - Giacomo Bastianelli - Sam Fagnart - Samira Schneuwly - Raphaela Häfliger  

UNDER THE DIRECTION OF

Product Design : Christophe Guberan
Photography : Maxime Guyon
Type Design : Larissa Kasper

HEADS OF PROGRAMMES

Product Design : Camille Blin
Photography : Milo Keller
Type DesignMatthieu Cortat

MASTER PRODUCT DESIGN

How to create a shoe sole with a customizable balance?

PRODUCT DESIGN

How to create a shoe sole with a customizable balance?

Collaboration by Tsubasa Koshide

Thanks to new multi-material 3D printing techniques, this shoe sole concept offers the possibility to customize material densities across the entire sole. Each Shoe can therefore be precisely adapted to each runner.

How to Make a woven shoe sole ?

PRODUCT DESIGN

How to Make a woven shoe sole ?

Collaboration by Stefan Troendle

Playing with new possibilities of 3D weaving, this shoe sole concept could be produced in one part allowing for both customizable cushioning and efficient production.

Reimagining the carbonplate for running shoes

PRODUCT DESIGN

Reimagining the carbonplate for running shoes

Collaboration by Clemens Neureiter

Pushing the expression of a shoe sole to its limits, this carbon fiber rod sole plays with the elasticity and the resistance of this highly technical material to create a good cushioning and to minimize weight.

How to create the sensation of effortless floating during the run?

PRODUCT DESIGN

How to create the sensation of effortless floating during the run?

Collaboration by Paul Rees

Inspired by the feeling of jumping on a trampoline, this shoe sole is composed of two elements: a customizable elastic web and a hollow EVA sole. This new construction offers a new running dynamic.

How to create an adaptive sole?

PRODUCT DESIGN

How to create an adaptive sole?

Collaboration by Lukas Lüttgen

Composed of recycled TPU, this concept shoe sole is designed to bio-mimic the fin-ray effect whilst being produced by traditional extrusion process.

How to produce soles without moulds?

PRODUCT DESIGN

How to produce soles without moulds?

Collaboration by Antoine Jacquat

3D printing technologies are offering various new possibilities to the footwear industry; however, processes are often limited by slow production cycles. Instead, this concept uses a heat inflating 3D printed foam to allow for postprinting expansion, making production more efficient and feasible whilst benefiting from the free design constraint possibilities of 3D printing.

What could be the lightest, yet high performing running sole?

PRODUCT DESIGN

What could be the lightest, yet high performing running sole?

Collaboration by Manuel Steffan

This shoe sole concept utilizes a 3D printed thread structure to both reduce the quantity of material required and allow for customizable sizing and compression density.

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY

Electric Mud

PHOTOGRAPHY

Electric Mud

Collaboration by Emma Bedos

In 2040, the earth has been trodden by billions of men, by armies, sportsmen, bankers and adventurers. It becomes mud, shapeless, it sticks everywhere after having been trampled by our plastic sneakers, symbol of our consumerism. But the earth turned into mud keeps in its heart the strength to carry life. Inexhaustible ground of energy and diversity, it takes shape again. This mud is the amniotic liquid of tomorrow’s material. The man of 2040 finds himself facing a new raw element, with which he regains his footing: the earth offers him a new ground to walk on.

The Laboratory

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Laboratory

Collaboration by Mattia Dagani Rio

The protagonists of this series are the engineers of On, busy in creating and perfectioning the new sole Clouds 2040 in the On laboratories.

Clouds2040

PHOTOGRAPHY

Clouds2040

Collaboration by Clemens Fischer

For the On Clouds2040 project, I focused on the engineering part of the brand and tried to get to know On products through testing them with fictive devices. In a second step, I thought about how I can improve the shoes to make them ready for the challenges of the future. These are the results of my research.

On Running

PHOTOGRAPHY

On Running

Collaboration by Nikolai Frerichs

For the On running project, I created a futuristic visual world in which the shoes become living organisms. I took 3D scans of the shoes and transformed them into sculptures which would not be possible with classic photography. In the animations, they become something living even when they are made out of futuristic shiny materials. For me the future of products and materials should be hand in hand together with more natural and lab grown materials. On some pictures, it seems like you can harvest the shoes from the sculptures. The visuals also refers to classic still life photography and composition.

Clouds 2040

PHOTOGRAPHY

Clouds 2040

Collaboration by Mahalia Taje Giotto

A little less than a month ago, China landed its first rover on Mars. Two months ago, the USA, with the help of its astromobile perseverance, converted carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere into oxygen. Twenty years ago, Russia sent their first tourist into space. What awaits us in twenty years from now? My vision of the future for 2040 is a vision that takes place elsewhere, in a different space-time, where the laws of physics that we have known until now would no longer apply. New materials will be discovered, materials that renew themselves and react according to the dimension in which they are found. As On is at the cutting edge of technology, the brand will have already appropriated the technology necessary to use these materials, in order to offer ever more daring models adapted to each level of intensity. Allowing then more space exploration.

As One

PHOTOGRAPHY

As One

Collaboration by Hikaru Hori

For the concept of CLOUDS 2040, my goal was to show the visual speculation in which shoe industry will create 100 % recyclable shoes. On is one of the leading companies that pioneers to make sustainable products. Therefore, through my images, I wanted to show how shoe can be thought as a part of nature in the near future.

Melange

PHOTOGRAPHY

Melange

Collaboration by Alisa Strub

According to the rover perseverance which landed in February 2021, life on mars doesn’t seem that far away anymore. So, the On 2040 campaign is all about looking forward to a new era of civilization on Mars while adapting to the changing environments. It focuses on growing from where we have come before trough the exploration of the planet, to try to find new sustainable materials in new organic growing, as well as the hybridization of humans and other non-human beings.

Memories of A Rock

PHOTOGRAPHY

Memories of A Rock

Collaboration by Yang Su

Each rock is a hard drive in the natural form. Each rock contains a piece of memory that tells its own past, where it comes from, what it used to be, and what happened. Years after years, it keeps the data of itself as a secret, lying still in a river, in a mountain, meditating, waiting. Until maybe one day some force cracks the rock, or someone cracks the code, then they’ll find the secret of the rock, tells an ordinary but unique story.

MASTER TYPE DESIGN

ON 2040

TYPE DESIGN

ON 2040

Collaboration by Laura Zsófia Csocsán

Searching for an answer to what type of writing system could be readable for a machine in the distant future, this abstract typeface is based on a circular 5-channel encoding system, working similarly to linear punchcards. There are 25 punch combinations in the 5-channel type system, meaning 32 places to encode letters, which can host the basic Latin alphabet. Visually, the typeface was inspired by cuneiform writing, which uses the stylus on clay tablets to punch ‘holes’ in the material. This aesthetic has been warped into signifying a punch on a few of the 5 places and providing each character with a unique combination of digits and forms.

On 2040

TYPE DESIGN

On 2040

Collaboration by Dominik Bissem

The concept of this dystopian writing system is inspired by the artwork The Garden of Earthly Delights (1490-1510) by Hieronymus Bosch and its tripartite structure. The Trinity takes the main role and divides the static skeleton vertically into 3 sections: Positive, Neutral, Negative; Birth, Life, Death; The Garden of Eden, The Garden of Delights and Hell. Round, angular and diagonal capital letters of the Latin alphabet are arranged in categories. With the help of 3 defined basic shapes: circle, square and line, the characters are constructed on its defined skeleton. Altogether, the writing system consists of 24 characters – the manuscript was painted analogue with black ink on translucent paper and emphasizes the dystopian character.

On 2040

TYPE DESIGN

On 2040

Collaboration by Charly Derouault, Alexandre Lescieux

Between typography and pictogram, our design is evolving. Inspired by the geometric forms already present in the On logotype, we have rationalized to the extreme the concept of a refined and methodical graphic system. By a new problematic of the coded language, associated with contemporary technologies, a completely modular encrypted typography was drawn. The pictograms and letters are composed by a very simple system of curves and lines which evolve and are assembled on a square grid, divided in 4. The only rule being that the forms cannot be superimposed the ones on the others. The script is programmed under Python language, allowing to generate and to exhaust the whole of the possible ones, that is to say 624 pictograms only composed of curves, having to represent the sport, the movement and always assembled within the same grid.

On 2040

TYPE DESIGN

On 2040

Collaboration by Stefan Fitze

Over the course of our time, language and communication will evolve in such a way that current writing systems no longer suffice. While there will still be translation methods for older systems still known to us, the writing system of the future will free itself from present rules and conventions and organically evolve into something exceedingly more complex.

On 2040

TYPE DESIGN

On 2040

Collaboration by Amélie Gallay

The blob is a mysterious unicellular slim mold creature growing into networks. Famous for its supposed immortality, it has also been showing signs of learning capabilities. After many years of scientific studies and stimulation, it is finally able to communicate with us in 2040. By using a morpheme-based system, the blob can express complex ideas with its web-like growths. As seen in this transcription (to be read clockwise), each tentacle and intersections represent a basic concept which is then extrapolated into sentences and finally a full text.

On 2040

TYPE DESIGN

On 2040

Collaboration by Elena Baranowski

New proposal for sending out a message to the future about ON 20(40). This new form of constructed language and writing system is inspired by the thermal-transfer printing technics. This digital printing method is used when fast and higher durability of printed matter (especially against heat) is desired. This « New Alphabet » offers a set of uppercase characters, as well as numbers and has been developed during the one-week workshop.

On 2040

TYPE DESIGN

On 2040

Collaboration by Giacomo Bastianelli

In the far future, human beings will communicate in whole new ways, we will understand the world around us in a much more complex way. The two-dimensional way of reading will be slowly replaced by three-dimensional holograms, capable of giving us a faster prediction of what is written. Based on the Spatial reasoning IQ tests exercises, this new writing system helps the reader draw conclusions about shapes based on limited information. Each face of the regular polyhedron will have a unique symbol on it (letter) and the Platonic solid will represent the complexity of the entire word. Holograms are a perfect solution when we don’t want our communication to be framed on a surface, but with this system, we could still write on psychical objects by simply unfolding the polyhedron into a 2D Pattern.

On 2040

TYPE DESIGN

On 2040

Collaboration by Samira Schneuwly

In order to create a “new alphabet” that could potentially store knowledge about ON 2040(0) and transmit it into the future, I developed a constructed writing system consisting of two different styles. Both styles are built on the same basis. While the more organic style has a line system for better differentiation of the individual “characters”, the restrained one has a subtle feature consisting of different stroke lengths on the edges. Despite the technical appearance, the two styles enable a visual structure of the content into different information levels, which should help decrypt the message in the future.

On 2040

TYPE DESIGN

On 2040

Collaboration by Raphaela Häfliger

Klaudz is designed to visually represent speech sounds in a written form by means of symbols. The script is based on a so-called phonetic transcription, whose basic principle is that it is applicable to all languages. Since its symbols denote the same phonetic properties, they break away from a language-bound orthography. Thinking of 2040, when internationality and the spoken language are gaining more importance, it is obvious to explore the forms of expression of an alternative phonetic script. The shapes of the letters derive from an underlying grid (the IPA vowel table), which in turn corresponds to the positions of the vowels resulting from the physical position of a speaker’s tongue when pronouncing those sounds. There is a round and a non-round version of each. The consonants are integrated into the script according to their groupings as diacritical marks.

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ECAL x On - Manuel Steffan - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel
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ECAL x On - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel
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ECAL x On - Stefan Troendle - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel
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ECAL x On - Lukas Lüttgen - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel
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ECAL x On - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel
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ECAL x On - Clemens Neureiter - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel
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ECAL x On - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel
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ECAL x On - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel