The control board design was based on an audio mixer, it was designed in response to a what if statement from my thesis paper -- "What if we had the ability to use curatorial algorithms to manipulate text and information in the same way a musician or DJ uses algorithms manipulate sound".
disclaimer: the next part is a little technical
The boards were designed with two things in mind -- cost and aesthetics. Because of the size and the limited quantity, finding ways to keep the cost down was necessary. To do so the boards were designed to be modular, and connectable, they could be stuffed with knobs, sliders, or both, and they shared component routes. This eliminated the need for a large complicated (expensive) controller.
The board was routed through a Teensy (small Arduino) to convert the analog signals to digital, and then run through a raspberry pi which generated a display of incoming data, connections and manipulations, this was done in Node.js and Angular.
The boards before being stuffed.
The layout sent to the manufacturer
The final schematic