“The Control Panel Archive”: The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials
U.S. Army audiovisual technician stands at her videotape editing station, 1973

If you’re like me, you’ve once or twice seen the near future in the form of Spielberg’s action-packed take on Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report. Not precogs, precrime, or pre-arrests, so much, nor the ubiquitous floating ads, but the scenes in which Tom Cruise’s character controls his tech by speaking to it and waving his hands in the air, doing a sort of interpretive dance in which voice and body take the place of primitive interfaces.

Control panels engage all the senses, become objects of fascination—like this stunningly-photographed abandoned thermal power plant in Hungary—long after they’ve outlived their usefulness. Will the control panel disappear? No, though I suspect touchscreens will take over, replacing the lovely banks of buttons in power plants and other industrial centers.

h/t: flashbak, control-panel, boingboing

The abandoned control panel of a thermal power plant in Kelenföld, Hungary
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials
Andreas S

Space Center, Houston
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Mission Control at Disney World’s Tomorrowland
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

IBM 360 Mainframe and check reading system, 1964
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

EMS VCS3 Putney
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Formula 1 steering wheel (each one is tailored to its specific driver)
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Hydroelectric station control center in Itaipu, Brazil
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Electronic Music Studios, circa 1970
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Longwave transmitter Europe 1, Germany
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

The Office Of The Future – New York World’s Fair, 1964
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Volcanic Museum, César Manrique, Lanzarote Island, 1966-1968
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

CERN, Electricity control room, 1970
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

1981 Mazda Cosmo
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Citroën Karin, 1980
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Kyoto hotel room, Japan
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

1990 Pontiac Sunfire Concept Car
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Reel-to-reel tape recorder
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Revox B215 tape deck
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Subaru XT, 80s
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

IBM 702 Machine, 1955
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

Future
"The Control Panel Archive": The Tactile Beauty Of Buttons, Meters, Knobs And Dials

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