How Dominoes Are Used in Art Installations


A domino is a small rectangular block with one side blank and the other bearing from one to six dots or pips (like those on dice). It has a line down the middle to divide it visually into two squares. Each end of a domino has a number indicating its value. The values are usually referred to as ranks or weights; a domino with more pips is “heavier” than a domino with less or no pips, which is sometimes called “blank.” A complete set of dominoes includes 28 tiles, although variations on the game can use many more or fewer.

Dominoes are used in games where players score points by placing a domino on the table and then matching it with another domino on either its left or right side. The player who does this first wins the round and scores a point. The games can be very simple, or very complex. Some people also use dominoes to create artistic designs, including curved lines, grids that form pictures when the pieces fall, and 3D structures such as towers and pyramids.

Occasionally, dominoes are even used to illustrate complex mathematical concepts such as the Fibonacci sequence or the Golden Ratio. The word “domino” is often used in a figurative sense, to describe a chain of events that continues to grow and spread as more pieces are added to the system. This concept is sometimes compared to the law of gravity, where one small action may trigger a series of reactions, like dominoes falling over each other.

When creating a domino setup, Hevesh starts by considering the theme or purpose of the installation. She then brainstorms images or words that might fit with the theme. Once she has an idea in mind, she begins to lay out the dominoes on the floor. This process can take up to an hour or more, depending on how complicated the design is.

She then takes a break, and returns to the project with fresh eyes. She repeats this process until the entire layout is complete. Afterwards, she evaluates her work and makes any necessary changes. She then uses a similar process to create the next domino setup.

While dominoes are often referred to as a metaphor for a larger chain of events, the term can be applied to any system or situation where one small trigger causes a series of reactions, like the domino effect. This principle is especially useful in business, where a good domino effect can help a company or individual to thrive.

When Schwab’s boss Lee instructed him to pick the most important task of the day and focus on it until it was completed, he was applying the principles of a good domino. These are tasks that contribute to a bigger goal or vision and will have a positive impact on the future. They can be challenging or require a chunk of time to complete, but if they are done well, the impact will be great.