The Art of Dominoes

When a domino hits the ground, it converts some of its potential energy into kinetic energy, the energy that causes it to fall. The remaining potential energy travels to the next domino, giving it the push it needs to topple over, and the chain continues until all of the pieces have fallen. The process is much like the way a company’s leadership can influence its culture.

Domino’s first store opened in Ypsilanti in 1967 and was an instant success. The franchise grew quickly, and by 1978, there were more than 200 locations. This growth was fueled by a strategy that put Domino’s pizza in front of customers when they wanted it most. Rather than opening new locations in the middle of nowhere, they located them near college campuses where students could pick up their pizza on their way home for dinner.

In the early 18th Century, dominoes were a popular fad in Europe. They were made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl) or ivory, with contrasting black or white pips. Some sets were designed to be puzzles, where the players placed tiles on a board so that their ends matched. Others were arranged by number, with each tile belonging to one or more of the suits of numbers (ones, threes, fives and sevens).

There are many different types of games that can be played with dominoes. The most common are blocking and scoring games. Blocking involves placing a domino in a row so that it touches only the ends of other dominoes and blocks their movement. In scoring games, points are scored when a player places a domino in such a way that the exposed dots on its two ends total a multiple of five. The first player to reach this point is the winner.

The most common domino sets have 28 or 55 tiles. Larger sets, called extended dominoes, exist that allow for more combinations of ends. These are typically used in games that require more than four players, and they contain an extra set of nine tiles.

Some people have taken the art of creating domino setups to an incredible level. One example is Hevesh, a 20-year-old woman who creates spectacular domino displays for movies and events. She has an enormous following on YouTube and has been commissioned to create complex setups for clients such as Katy Perry.

Hevesh says that when she begins an installation, she follows a version of the engineering-design process. She considers the theme or purpose of the design and brainstorms images or words that she might want to use. She then draws a diagram to guide her as she works.

When she finishes an installation, Hevesh says she usually takes several nail-biting minutes to let the dominoes fall. She is amazed by the results, but she also knows that there are many different ways to achieve the same result. She says that the key is to have confidence in your abilities and know that you can make it happen if you try hard enough.