Lebanese designer installs paper windmills for V&A museum

Lebanese designer Najla El Zein is showcasing an installation of 500 spinning paper windmills in a doorway at the Victoria & Albert museum as part of London Design Festival.

Entitled the Wind Portal, each spinning windmill was folded by hand and attached to upright plastic tubes with custom-made 3D-printed clips.

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

The installation correlates with a computer programme by Maurice Asso of Hilights controlling the specific poles that release air, causing ripples of movement across the installation. Meanwhile, the lighting overhead is programmed to brighten and dim as though breathing.

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


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