Hervé Descottes portrait by GDM @

Hervé Descottes


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&ADAD, the Municipal Art Society of New York City, and the GE Corporation. In 2008, Mr. 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

Lighting Design in Architecture: A Conversation with Hervé Descottes and Steven Holl, USA 2021 In Praise with Shadow in partnership with VCU amd AIA Viginia Design Forum, USA, 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

The City Dark, directed by Ian Cheney, 2012