In Brief: Gucci’s Eco-Shoes, Calatrava in Russia, MCNY’s ‘Greatest Grid,’ Photojournalists of the Year

Ready for this jelly? Gucci’s “Marola Green” ballerina flats, made from biodegradable plastic.

• Gucci parent PPR doesn’t mess around when it comes to sustainability. The conglomerate, which reported 2011 revenues of €12.2 billion (approximately $15 billion at current exchange), recently announced an ambitious five-year plan that sets targets for everything from carbon emissions to sourcing of raw materials. On a related noted, Gucci (via licensee Safilo) now offers sustainable sunglasses in eco-friendly packaging. Next up: shoes. Creative director Frida Giannini has ditched the luxe skins in favor of biodegradable plastic for “Sustainable Soles,” a footwear line that will hit Gucci stores in late June. In addition to the ballerina flats pictured above, the range will debut with “California Green” men’s sneakers.

• Where better than the “City of Bridges” (that would be St. Petersburg, Russia) to celebrate the work of Santiago Calatrava? The architect is the subject of a retrospective opening June 27 at the State Hermitage Museum, which is out to spice up all of its classical antiquities and orthodox icons with art of the 20th and 21st centuries. “Santiago Calatrava: The Quest for Movement” will showcase paintings, architectural models, and sketches as well as kinetic sculptures and an installation with four giant projections. And Calatrava is no stranger to St. Pete (or Leningrad, as our U.S.S.R-era globe would have it). According to the museum, “he became intimately acquainted with [the city] through his friendship with Valery Gergiev.”

• Meanwhile, back in New York (which, oddly, our globe also insists is called Leningrad), the Museum of the City Thereof is probing the mean yet rationally arranged streets of Gotham in “The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011,” an exhibition on view through July 15. Get the nitty-gritty on the grid in a June 11 talk with curator Hilary Ballon. The architectural historian will focus on adaptations to Manhattan’s numbered system of streets and avenues, from Broadway and Central Park to superblocks and skyscrapers, and its responses to the changing needs of the city.

• The National Press Photographers Association has announced the winners of its 2012 Best Of Photojournalism awards. Ross Taylor of The Virginian-Pilot was named Photojournalist of the Year (larger markets), and David Weatherwax of The Herald, in Jasper, Indiana took that title in the smaller markets category. Freelancer Donald Miralle of Carlsbad, California, is the Sports Photojournalist of the Year, and freelancer Brad Vest of Concord, New Hampshire, is the winner of Cliff Edom‘s “New America Award.” This is only the tip of the photojournalistic award iceberg, so check out all of the winners here.

• Who says summer camp is just for kids? Graphical gurus-in-the-making can forgo tents in favor of typography (and hotel accomodations) at the Massimo Vignelli Master Designer Workshop, a week-long intensive that begins July 22 on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Design legend Vignelli will be joined by RIT faculty members including Bruce Ian Meader and R. Roger Remington in leading hands-on sessions geared toward graphic design students and educators as well as working design professionals. If a learning vacation is not in the cards this summer, attend vicariously by picking up the required text: The Vignelli Canon.