What is Domino?


A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic with a number or other marking on each end. It is used in a variety of games to create chains that can be knocked over. Some people use dominoes to make art by laying them in straight lines or curved patterns, or even building 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.

The word domino is also used to refer to a type of costume consisting of a long hooded cloak worn together with an eye mask at a masquerade or carnival event. It is possible that both the cloak and the game of domino originated in France around 1750.

In a game of domino, the player places a tile onto the table and then positions it so that one end shows a number that is useful to them or distasteful to their opponents. Each time a new tile is played, the existing chain of tiles grows in length. If a player places a tile so that both ends show the same number, it is called “stitching up the ends” and is not allowed.

As each domino is played, it pushes on the next domino in its chain. Some of this energy is transferred to the domino that will eventually be knocked over, and some is converted into kinetic energy – the energy of motion. The cycle continues until all the dominos have fallen or until a player chooses to stop.

Many different games can be played with dominoes, but they usually fall into two main categories: blocking games and scoring games. With blocking games, players try to place a tile that will leave an open end on both sides of the domino after it is played. The open ends must match and be adjacent. Typically, the first tile is a double and can be placed either diagonally or perpendicular to it.

When a player is looking for a suitable tile to play, they look through the collection of unused dominoes – known as the boneyard – until they find one that matches the value of the last one played. A player can then take that domino and begin playing again. Continuing in this fashion, the players alternate turns until the game is completed or neither player has any more tiles to play.

When Hevesh creates her mind-blowing domino setups, she follows a version of the engineering-design process. She starts by considering the theme or purpose of her installation and brainstorming images or words that might be appropriate. She then makes test versions of each section and films them in slow motion to check that the pieces work correctly. She then puts them all together, starting with the biggest 3-D sections first and moving to flat arrangements and lines of dominoes as she works. For a complex project, she might spend up to six months constructing it.