Wind Portal by Najla El Zein
at the V&A


Wind Portal by Najla El Zein

London Design Festival 2013: Lebanese designer Najla El Zein has installed 5000 spinning paper windmills in a doorway at the V&A museum in London.

Wind Portal by Najla El Zein

Each of the spinning windmills in the Wind Portal by Najla El Zein was folded by hand and attached to upright plastic tubes with custom-made 3D-printed clips.

Wind Portal by Najla El Zein

Air is released through tiny apertures in the sides of the tubes, with each leak directed towards the sails of a windmill on an adjacent tube.

Wind Portal by Najla El Zein

A computer programme by Maurice Asso of Hilights controls which poles release air and when, causing ripples of movement across the installation, while lighting overhead is programmed to alternately brighten and dim as though breathing.

Wind Portal by Najla El Zein
Najla El Zein with Wind Portal installation

Visitors are invited to walk through the two wedges of poles in the eight-metre-high gateway, which is positioned between a stairwell and the Day-lit Gallery of the V&A museum.

"Our intervention focuses on the transition between two spaces, an inside and outside space," El Zein told Dezeen. "The proximity of the installation with visitors means they can go through it, touch it, stand there and interact with it."

Wind Portal by Najla El Zein

Wind Portal was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum for London Design Festival and will be on display until 3 November 2013.

Other installations on display at this year's festival include a giant chandelier of colourful glass spheres installed in the entrance hall of the V&A and fifteen staircases that make up an Escher-style installation outside Tate Modern.

Wind Portal by Najla El Zein

See more installations »
See all our stories about London Design Festival 2013 »
See Dezeen's map and guide to London Design Festival 2013 »

Studio team: Najla El Zein, Dina Mahmoud, Sara Moundalek, Sarah Naim
Lighting designer and automation: Maurice Asso, Hilights

  • kavoul

    Incredible Najla El Zein.

  • Nice use of origami!

  • Mars For Martians

    It’s more art than design, but it is absolutely beautiful to look at.

  • Rosemary

    Cool! I loved how the huge door looks with all the wind mills.

  • Austin

    Love to see it in motion. Video perhaps?