The Art of Domino
Domino, also known as dominoes or bones, is a tile-based game system that provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn the principles of probability and chance while developing motor skills. A domino set usually consists of twenty-four or more tiles with one or more pip marks on each side. The pips indicate the number of spots on a particular piece. The most common type of domino is the double-six set, which is used in most popular domino games. Larger sets of dominoes are available for use in more advanced games.
Dominoes are generally twice as long as they are wide, which makes them easy to stack and re-stack after use. They are a form of generic gaming device similar to playing cards or dice, and can be played with a variety of rules and strategies.
Many of the games of domino require blocking other players’ play, or scoring points by putting down a series of dominoes. Some of these games duplicate card games, making them useful for circumventing religious proscriptions on the playing of cards. Other domino games, such as bergen and muggins, determine scores by counting the number of dots (or pips) in a player’s remaining dominoes.
While the mechanics of domino are quite simple, the many variations in rules and strategy make domino an exceptionally versatile entertainment tool. One important factor in the success of a domino game is how the tiles are arranged on the table. The way that a domino chain develops is dictated by the whims of the players and by the physical limitations of the playing surface. The tiles are normally shuffled before play begins, with each player drawing a hand of seven tiles. The player that draws the highest double goes first, with subsequent players drawing tiles in a clockwise order until all have drawn their hands.
Hevesh is an accomplished domino artist, creating intricate designs that involve curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall and even 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. She uses a combination of engineering, computer science and mathematics to achieve her results, but she credits the physical phenomenon of gravity for much of the success of her creations.
Hevesh takes great care in ensuring that her installations work as intended, and films them in slow motion to spot any problems. She has worked on projects involving as many as 300,000 dominoes, and her largest arrangements can take several nail-biting minutes to collapse. To avoid a domino effect in which a single domino can knock over an entire installation, she always tests the individual sections of her designs before constructing them on the full scale. This allows her to correct any errors before the final display. She also uses her dominoes for fun, lining them up to form shapes that are interesting or funny. She often shows off her work at public events. For example, she recently arranged her dominoes in the shape of an elephant as part of a presentation for a children’s charity event.