How a Domino Layout Artist Creates Intricate Patterns of Dominoes

Domino is a small, flat, rectangular block used as a gaming object. The most common type of domino is a double-six set, which contains 28 tiles with either blank or pips (markers) from one to six on each end. A domino may also be part of a larger suit (usually arranged as the suits on dice) that includes other tiles bearing numbers and other markings, for use in more complex games. Dominoes can be played in a wide variety of ways, and the most popular are blocking games and scoring games. In addition, many domino layout games have been developed that allow players to create intricate patterns of dominoes. Hevesh started playing with dominoes as a child, and her first set was the classic 28-piece classic. She loved arranging them in a straight or curved line and flicking the first domino to start the chain reaction. As she grew older, she became more interested in the science of the game. She would study the way that each domino fit together and how to make them fall in just the right way. Her ultimate goal was to create a piece that had so much movement, so much energy, that it was almost hypnotizing to watch. As her skills grew, Hevesh began to take on bigger and more elaborate projects. She’s created designs that involve several hundred thousand dominoes, and her largest installations can take several nail-biting minutes to complete. The key to Hevesh’s success is a simple scientific principle: gravity. “When a domino is arranged in the correct way and then knocked over, the force of gravity pulls it toward the ground,” she says. “It’s the same principle that causes a car to roll down an incline when someone steps on the brake pedal.” Hevesh knows that in order to build her incredible arrangements, she needs to be able to predict how each domino will move, so she test-drives each section before putting them all together. She makes sure each piece is lined up correctly, and she uses a special video camera to capture the pieces in slow motion. While a domino is a physical object, this principle can be applied to any activity. When we concentrate all of our efforts on a single activity, we generate enough momentum to help us topple other projects that might otherwise languish. In the world of business, this is often called a domino effect: if you knock over one project, it can trigger a chain reaction that reaches into other parts of your organization. When Domino’s former CEO David Brandon took over the company in 2004, he immediately implemented a series of changes, including relaxed dress codes and leadership training programs. These new values helped Domino’s become a top workplace, and they are now among its core values. Doyle’s mantra is to listen to his customers, and the Domino’s brand has a reputation for being innovative, even if it sometimes upsets long-established traditions.