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.

Collaboration (2022) by Emma Bedos, Alexey Chernikov, Clemens Fischer, Nikolai Frerichs, Mahalia Taje Giotto, Hikaru Hori, Augustin Lignier, Sophie Schreurs, Alisa Strub, Yang Su

3D Graphics, Imagemaking, Photography direction, Fashion, Still life
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.

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.


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.

By Emma Bedos



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

By Mattia Dagani Rio



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.

By Nikolai Frerichs



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.

By Clemens Fischer



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.

By Mahalia Taje Giotto



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.

By Alisa Strub



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.

By Yang Su

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ECAL x On - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel
ECAL x On - Image by ECAL/Marvin Merkel