It’s a control room from Project Cybersyn. In 1970–1973, the revolutionary Chilean government managed to recruit Stafford Beer, a cyberneticist who worked on the feedback loops of management in corporations. He was pretty famous at the time. They were designed by Gui Bonsiepe, a German modernist.Link (via MeFi)
Anyway, the Chilean government called him up, and he built what he called “an electronic nervous system” connecting all parts of the country to the government.
It all worked by telex, and there were 7 seats in the control rooms because that was known to be the most efficient. The swivel chairs encouraged creativity.
These rooms would feed complaints, comments and statistics up and down to the government, and it meant a centrally planned economy actually worked, and the government could respond appropriately. Factories installed it on their floors, because they could tell the government what they needed, and it was liked centrally too because they had up-to-date stats the whole time. Feedback loops and cybernetics again!
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.