Asheville entrepreneur launches CaseStudyDesignFirm, specializing in unique lighting fixtures


Here’s a cool announcement from my friend Chall Gray, who heads up entrepreneurial ventures for Thirsty Monk in Asheville:

Today marks the announcement of a new venture from a well-known Asheville entrepreneur, Chall Gray. CaseStudyDesignFirm, Gray’s latest effort, will focus on artisan crafted lighting fixtures, designed and produced in the firm’s Asheville studio.

“I’ve always loved books, and that was one of the things that prompted me to begin designing lighting fixtures–I couldn’t find any interesting lighting fixtures that were made from repurposed books, and I wanted something like that for my study,” Gray said, when asked why he chose to add this to his already sizable list of projects. Gray is the Vice President of the rapidly expanding Thirsty Monk pub and brewery, as well as Founding Producing Director of the Magnetic Theatre, who will be celebrating their five year anniversary later this summer.

Several of CaseStudyDesignFirm’s signature pieces come from their Biblio Collection, three of which have been introduced to the public so far. These three lights include an innovative table lamp that is anchored to a book as well as a sconce and pendant, with more book-focused designs on the way.

Many of the firm’s designs also creatively re-use materials, such as black iron pipe and recycled barn wood, in addition to books. “We are in the midst of a great resurgence and appreciation for handcrafted, American made goods,” Gray noted, “Filson bags, Pendleton wool coats, Raleigh Denim–more and more people are recognizing the quality and detail that goes into items like these, and we feel we can bring those touching to lighting fixtures for your home or business as well.”

The lights in CaseStudyDesignFirm’s first collection very strongly echo both industrial and modern design elements, lending them a certain versatility of style that isn’t found in many lighting options. Gray just finished doing custom lighting for chef Nate Allen’s new bar Spoon in Spruce Pine, and is discussing a couple of other commercial projects with clients. “These larger projects are fun and exciting,” he said, “but we’re happy to work with any client to find the right lighting for their need, budget and space.” | 828.333.7336


Simson July 19, 2014 - 11:05 pm

“Hope he’s a better lamp builder than a theater owner.”

Now that is just funny as hell, I don’t care who you are…

Lesley G July 18, 2014 - 9:55 am

Bravo Chall!

Congratulations on your new venture. I love what I’ve seen so far. You are truly a creative and entrepreneurial ground breaker.


Kate July 17, 2014 - 8:50 pm

Hope he’s a better lamp builder than a theater owner.

anan July 19, 2014 - 12:41 pm

Hope you are a better person than internet troll

theatre lover July 20, 2014 - 6:44 pm

What deficiencies did Chall Gray have as a theatre owner? Was it the artistic product of the Magnetic Theatre you’re questioning? Its economic viability? Was it the theatre operation that couldn’t make it, or the restaurant/bar operation? Or the combination? An uneasy fit of two very different entities? Please comment so theatre lovers in town can know what went wrong?

boatrocker July 20, 2014 - 7:55 pm

‘theatre lover’ as a name tells us everything. Nothing is as it seems.

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