A small rectangular block used in a game to form a chain reaction, domino has a number of dots or pips on one end and is blank or identically patterned on the other. The word “domino” itself is probably derived from an earlier sense of the word “dominant,” which in turn may have been based on a garment worn with a mask at carnival season or at a masquerade, similar to a priest’s black cape over a white surplice.
Dominoes are usually played by two or more players, and the scoring system depends on the ability to place tiles so that their exposed ends match (i.e., a domino with one pair of matching sides—such as a five to four domino—is scored as a double, and a domino with no pairs at all scores zero). A game typically ends when the last player plays all of his or her tiles.
When Lily Hevesh was 9 years old, her grandparents gave her the classic 28-piece set of dominoes and she was hooked. She loved arranging them into straight or curved lines and then flicking the first one to watch the entire domino system fall. Since then, Hevesh has created stunning domino art for movies, television shows, and even the album launch of pop singer Katy Perry. She also has an online following of more than 2 million people on her YouTube channel Hevesh5.
While Hevesh’s creations may look effortless, they are not simple. They require a lot of planning and preparation to create the most stunning displays. She often sketches her designs before starting, so she knows the order in which to build the pieces and how they will fall. In addition to planning, Hevesh relies on physics to bring her creations to life.
One of the key tools she uses to achieve such incredible designs is gravity, which pulls a falling domino toward the ground, sending it crashing into the next piece in line. Hevesh says that’s why it’s important to play on a hard surface like a table or floor—it allows the dominoes to “flow” and create the desired effect.
For more ambitious projects, Hevesh suggests using a template to mark out where each domino should be placed. She also recommends making a list of the necessary materials and calculating how many dominoes you’ll need for your project. This will help you avoid overbuying or running out of tiles.
For Hevesh, the most important aspect of creating such complex domino projects is being able to prioritize tasks and stay focused on them. She explains, “I have to rank my tasks every day and give full attention to the main task until it’s complete.” By ranking her tasks in this way, she’s able to keep her work productive and make sure she is working on the most pressing issues.