In 1993, Hervé Descottes co-founded the lighting design firm L’Observatoire International in New York City after eight years of design practice in Paris, France. Descottes personally creates the lighting concepts for all projects designed by L’Observatoire, and oversees project development through project completion.


Mr Descottes has been recognized numerous times by the lighting design and architectural community. He has received awards from the International Association of Lighting Designers, the Illuminating Engineering Society and the New York City Illuminating Engineering Society, the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, D&AD, the Municipal Art Society of New York City, the Architizer, the Dezeen, the AN’s Newspaper, the Darc Award and the Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award . In 2008, Hervé Descottes was named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.


In 2020, Hervé Descottes has received the Interior Design's Best of Year Award for Best Lighting Designer. 


Architectural Lighting, Designing with Light and Space co-authored with Cecilia E. Ramos Princeton Architectural Press, 2011
Ultimate Lighting Design: Projects by Hervé Descottes/ L’Observatoire International teNeues, 2006



International School of Bologna, 2022

Sally Walsh Lecture Series at the MFAH, 2021

In Praise of Shadows, AIA Virginia, 2020

Open House New York - Edge, Hudson Yards, 2020

Exploring the Five Senses. A conversation with Jean-Georges and Hervé Descottes. Design Talk - NYCxDesign, 2020

Friends of ESDA of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA 2019

Hervé Descottes in Conversation with Cindy Allen, Interior Design Innovation, New York, USA 2019

Belysnings, Stockholm, Sweden 2018

Designing with Light, Chicago Architecture Biennal Symposium, Chicago, USA 2017

Columbia CORE I Series, New York, USA 2016

Foro Lighting en Site IES, Mexico 2015

University Penn Design, Philadelphia, PA, USA 2015

Using Light as Infrastructure, Chester City UK 2014

Ubuntu: Design Symposium, Sangmyung University, Seoul, Korea 2011

OHNY, Friends of the High Line, New York, USA 2010

Light and Theater, New York, NY, USA 2008

Art, Architecture and Light, Athens, Greece, 2008

Making Light, IES Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, 2008

Evocative Luminance, IES NY, New York, USA 2007

Rediscovering Columbus, New York, USA 2007

UW School of Architecture, University of Waterloo, Canada, 2006

Cooper Union School of Architecture, New York, USA 2006

Lighting Design Talk, Cedar Lake Theater, New York, USA 2006

Center of Mediterranean Architecture, Chania Crete, Greece, 2004

Hommages a James Turrell, Institute Franco-Portugais, Lisbon, 2003



New York ByDesign Architecture, 2022

Lighting Design in Architecture: A Conversation with Hervé Descottes and Steven Holl, 2021

The City Dark, directed by Ian Cheney, 2012