Etienne Gounot and Eric Jähnke, two former industrial engineers, created together the company Ozone in 2000. Their concept is based on close collaboration with architects and private individuals to find the perfect lighting, the right lighting.

An interview by Signatures Singulières

The art of architectural and decorative lighting

The work on light sources serves several purposes. First of all, the light comes to supplement the natural light of day and night. Then, it highlights shapes and spaces. Finally, bring this little extra that changes everything: the magic of the light metamorphosis. A ray of light judiciously illuminates such detail of architecture that otherwise would go unnoticed. And everything is singularly different. Etienne Gounot and Eric Jähnke are scenographers of unparalleled light. They know how to emphasize contrasts, give rhythm and play with different atmospheres. In addition, Ozone creates its own lights: chandeliers, ceiling lights, suspensions etc. And some of their products are signed by Michel Boyer, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Joseph Dirand, Pierre Paulin and Régis Botta. 

A craft creation

Ozone products combine Parisian artisan tradition with the latest LED lighting technologies. Indeed, Ozone manufactures its lighting in Paris and assemble it in the workshop of the street Notre-Dame of Nazareth in the Marais. This is where Etienne Gounot and Eric Jähnke seek to constantly improve the performance of their luminaires with contemporary design. They screen new materials and new techniques and frequently create unique pieces. For example for Elise Saab, Ritz Carlton or Mauboussin, as well as Saint-Louis. The Ozone collection is now distributed in Europe, the United States and Asia. 

Interview with Etienne Gounot – Co-founder of Ozone

What made you want to get involved in lighting design?

Etienne Gounot: A desire both practical and poetic. I did not find any fixtures for my apartment and decided to design and make it myself. In doing so, I realized that the light evoked memories of my life, moments of wonder. It also created an inner calm, an impalpable dimension that went well beyond the object itself. The trigger was thus produced and I spoke to my friend Eric, himself very sensitive to the aesthetics of light and creation. Ozone is born. We were great beginners in the area, with no training or address book. 

Are contemporary French luminaries immediately recognizable?

Etienne Gounot: The realization of non-industrial French contemporary lighting often relies on the arts and crafts that are still quite alive in France. Thus, as with Ozone we can find a modernized and refined approach to the work of metal, stone or glass. French designers also likes to draw their inspiration from the rich history of the decorative art, while marrying them to the abstraction of computer-based design. Nevertheless, borders today have less meaning. With Eric, we feel really close to some American, Japanese or Belgian projects.

You have joined Par Excellence, which promotes French craftsmen in New York. What do you expect? Do you already have benefits in this way?

Etienne Gounot: Par Excellence contacted us a little more than two years ago. We were happy to join this group which gathers the finest French craftsmen in New York. Although today we have a slightly different approach, oriented more towards the creation of collections than custom-made, the technical and commercial synergies between the different partners are incredible. New York is perhaps the most intense market in the world. We are much stronger together. 

What challenges would you like to take up soon?

Etienne Gounot: The US is a very dynamic market where our “bold and delicate” style is well received. The challenge is now to make of the US our first market with a local branch that would drive business and technical development.