The Art of Domino
Domino is a word used to describe a piece of wood or cardboard that, when struck by a sharp object, causes other pieces to fall in an ordered sequence. The word may also refer to a game played with such pieces. Dominoes can be arranged in flat arrangements or in 3-D structures like towers and pyramids. In order to create domino art, an artist must understand the laws of physics and how to manipulate the pieces into the desired arrangement. In addition to understanding physics, an artist must also know how to plan out their design. This can be done using a variety of techniques, including drawing arrows to show the way each domino would fall and calculating how many pieces are needed for an entire layout.
The first domino pieces were made from ivory, although they are now often constructed of colored plastic or resin. A domino is a rectangular tile with a line down the center and a number on each end, or “pips,” that vary from 0 to 6. In most western games, the standard or double-six set of 28 tiles is used to play the “block” and “draw” games. However, the games can be played with a double-twelve or double-nine set as well.
The game of domino evolved in the mid-18th century, and it quickly became a fad in France. It did not arrive in America until the late 1860s, when it was purportedly brought by French prisoners of war. The name Domino appears to have been derived from the Latin for domino, meaning “I dominate,” or “I am master.”
In the United States, dominoes are usually sold in sets of 96 or a hundred tiles. The most basic Western domino games are the Block and Draw games for two to four players. Each player draws a certain number of tiles (typically seven) at random from the “stock” or “boneyard.” The lead player then places a tile on the table, generally the highest value domino. The rest of the tiles are then played as the game continues.
As the dominoes are placed on the table, their numbers must be matched by adjacent tiles with matching numbers. If a domino has blank sides, it is considered wild and can be ascribed any value. In some games, a domino is paired with another, forming a doublet, which means that both sides of the pair have the same number and must be connected to one another.
Hevesh, the artist who created this amazing domino art, has worked on projects involving over 300,000 dominoes. She has even helped to set a Guinness world record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement. Hevesh’s creations are not only beautiful to look at, but they also illustrate how a simple idea can have incredible ripple effects in our daily lives. As Hevesh explains in her video, a single domino can start a chain reaction that leads to new behaviors and beliefs that will continue long after the last domino falls. For example, when Jennifer Dukes Lee began making her bed every day, she wasn’t simply creating a new habit — she was laying the foundation for a new self-image.