Interview with CHENBRO MICOM

Takeshi Nagata | eleven nine interior design office
Interview with Takeshi Nagata of eleven nine interior design office
February 20, 2024
Interview with Hadeel Al Khayat of Status Studios
February 20, 2024


The CHENBRO MICOM boasts 41 years of experience in cross-disciplinary design for server chassis, emphasizing the resolution of challenges through the fusion of user-friendly, innovative design and technology. Their approach prioritizes human-centered design, marrying practical value with aesthetics.

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

CHENBRO MICOM possesses 41 years of cross-disciplinary design experience on server chassis, focusing on solving problems by integrating user-friendly, innovative design and technology. We prioritize human-centered design, blending practical value with aesthetics. With a keen market sense, a collaborative team, a streamlined creative process, and effective communication, we continuously provide clients with integrated solutions in product design at an international standard.

The team follows brand and product strategies, considering innovation, functionality, emotional and symbolic content, human-machine interface, and emotional interaction in the overall design process. We tackle aesthetic challenges by creating forward-thinking designs and collaborating across technical teams to integrate form and function seamlessly. This approach ensures a successful launch of superior products. The following are our day-to-day tasks.

  • Marketing research.
  • User-Activity scenarios.
  • Industrial design.
  • CAID 3D simulation.
  • Mechanical/Structure design.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

We're a passionate team that believes in the transformative impact of product design on the world. We are grounded in innovation and shape aesthetics into functional forms through a designer's perspective. Our open-minded approach embraces diverse values, meeting unique user needs. We prioritize a seamless blend of form and function, ensuring an exceptional user experience. Our mission is to achieve sustainable design and unwavering craftsmanship quality.

Our designs are about innovation and R&D, extending product value in every direction. We tell compelling product stories to boost recognition and stay competitive. We aim to bring these qualities into our product designs, encouraging detailed thinking and bold innovation. Understanding user behavior ensures top-notch design across aesthetics, functionality, and user experience. We offer clients complete solutions, integrating product design with mechanical and electrical R&D, providing a full range of design services.

3Describe your design style and its main characteristics.

CHENBRO MICOM's products embody a human-centered approach, continuously evolving to meet user needs, offering diverse server chassis solutions. The 4U Tri-load Series model builds on the 2U Dual-load Series model concept, introducing an innovative three-way design: front and dual-side hard drive configuration for stability, durability, and extended hard drive lifespan.

Departing from the traditional front-to-back hard drive setup, CHENBRO MICOM opts for a front and dual-side design, relocating the motherboard to the rear of the server structure. Combined with our exclusive airflow guidance cooling mechanism, it achieves optimal heat dissipation among 4U products of similar specifications.

4Tell us about your design process.
Product design is an exciting and challenging task where team members play distinct roles. Each team member contributes from market analysis to uncovering product opportunities, defining core concepts, and exploring user pain points. Ultimately, the collaboration of professional design thinking results in creating products that meet user needs.
5What was the biggest challenge with this project?

During the development of the 4U server chassis, we encountered two significant challenges: Thermal requirements of server chassis and how to design a server chassis that can safely carry heavy loads;

A. In the traditional 4U chassis design that accommodates 36 3.5-inch hard drives, the common practice is to configure them from front to back, which can easily cause warm-up problems; our thermal team uses the patented Tri-load design of the Tri-load series to help the server meet the Data Center cooling needs.

Optimum thermal performance is achieved by ensuring airflow is circulated to the fan in the correct direction. It also provides excellent sealing to prevent the recirculation of data center hot aisles. With our unique design, the Tri-load series meets the low operating temperatures of hard drives and ensures 24/7 stability through a 4+1 cooling system*. (*HDD operates down to 98.6°F/37°C (ambient 77°F/25°C))

B. A traditional 4U chassis design with 36 3.5-inch drives is expected to be configured from front to back to achieve even weight distribution. However, the triple-load concept shifted to front-mounted and dual-sided formats, concentrating the weight on the front side.

Our R&D team worked with partners to design purpose-built slides that could withstand the triple weight, even with a load of 48 hard drives installed. Maintenance personnel can also effortlessly and safely pull the chassis out of the cabinet for disk replacement without risk of damage. This three-way design provides convenient maintenance features, such as tool-free access when troubleshooting or adding a new drive.

6What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

We sincerely appreciate the exhilarating creative freedom! Firstly, the boundless creative space allows us to explore and innovate, fostering unique ideas and concepts.

Secondly, the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the industry keeps us engaged, embracing change, and providing continuous learning opportunities.

Lastly, the passionate individuals within CHENBRO MICOM bring a contagious enthusiasm, fostering an environment of inspiration and collaboration. These aspects make the art industry an exhilarating and fulfilling space for creativity and growth.

7What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?

Our country's design scene is a fascinating blend of cultural richness, tech innovation, and a solid commitment to sustainability. Designers seamlessly weave traditional influences with modern design, creating a visually compelling landscape.

Renowned for technological prowess and government support, designers have gained global recognition. The focus on sustainable design practices and an entrepreneurial spirit adds a unique flair to the vibrant design community, making it a standout player on the world stage.

8If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Stay curious, network strategically, showcase your best work in a curated portfolio, and prioritize continuous learning. Embrace adaptability and resilience, focus on user-centric design, and cultivate a unique style. Encourage creative exploration, leverage feedback for growth, and stay informed on industry trends.

Lastly, consider participating in design competitions like MUSE Design Awards for recognition and exposure. Best of luck on your design journey!

9What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
Successful products not only stem from creative and precise design but also require listening to customer feedback and addressing user needs. Through the conceptual engineering approach in product design methodology, we challenge established thought processes and consider multiple perspectives to redefine what constitutes good design.
10What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Success is all about grabbing opportunities, keeping the learning vibe alive, and not overthinking stuff. Take each chance as a ride for growth, stay open to new things, and never hit pause on learning. Success is a journey, so keep it cool, learn from hiccups, and cheer on your wins!

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The CHENBRO MICOM boasts 41 years of experience in cross-disciplinary design for server chassis, emphasizing the resolution of challenges through the fusion of user-friendly, innovative design and technology. Their approach prioritizes human-centered design, marrying practical value with aesthetics.

Read more about this interview with Takeshi Nagata of eleven nine interior design office, the Gold Winner of the 2023 MUSE Design Awards.