How an Artist Creates Mind-Blowing Domino Setups

Domino is a tile-based game in which each domino has an arrangement of dots, similar to those on dice. The top side of a domino shows its number, while the bottom is blank or marked with an identical pattern to that of a die. Dominoes are grouped into suits (e.g., threes, fives, nines), and each suit has a color.

The most popular domino sets contain 28 tiles, although larger ones exist for players who want to play long domino games. Most games are played with one or more players; a player takes turns placing dominoes edge to edge on a line on the table. The first player to place a domino with its pips in the right spots wins the round and plays the next piece. Typical Western games fall into two categories: blocking games and scoring games.

A dominanto’s potential energy — a tendency to resist motion until an outside force acts on it — is stored in its contact with other dominoes. When a domino is pushed, this energy is converted into kinetic energy, which pushes other dominoes until they all fall over. A small nudge is all it takes.

Hevesh began playing with dominoes as a child, collecting and setting up straight or curved lines, then flicking the first domino to see it cascade down the rest of the line. He now creates mind-blowing domino setups that are used in movies, TV shows, and events like an album launch for pop star Katy Perry. Hevesh has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers who watch her work, which combines engineering and art.

To make her setups, Hevesh starts by thinking of a theme or purpose for the installation. Then she brainstorms images or words that relate to that theme. She then makes a series of test pieces to ensure that all the sections work individually, before putting them together. She builds the biggest 3-D arrangements first, then adds flat arrangements and finally lines of dominoes that connect all the sections together.

When designing a domino art, the artist needs to consider the layout of the whole piece – whether it be straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. For each design, the artist must carefully mark out a layout on paper, using arrows to show where each piece should go and what it should look like when completed. This is then used to guide the construction process. Some artists prefer to use colored pencils, markers, or crayons to make their designs, while others opt for more high-tech solutions such as digital drawing software and 3D printing. Dominoes can also be made of a wide variety of materials, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (“mother-of-pearl”), ivory, and a dark hardwood such as ebony. These natural materials offer a more traditional and elegant look, but they can be more expensive than polymer sets.