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