Domino is a set of flat, rectangular, double-sided tiles with an arrangement of spots or pips, similar to those on a die. One side of each domino is numbered; the other is blank or identically patterned. Dominoes are most commonly used for positional games. In these, each player in turn places a domino edge to edge against another in such a way that the adjacent faces match—for example, a one-to-one match or an overall total match.
The most basic domino set consists of 22 tiles, each with either five or six dots on each end. Each dot corresponds to a number from 1 through 6, and a domino with two matching ends is called a double. Dominoes with six dots on each end are more common than ones with five.
In addition to being fun to play, dominoes can be used as a learning tool and for educational purposes. For example, students can use dominoes to learn the sequence of addition and subtraction as they arrange a series of numbers. They can also use them to explore how a simple addition problem might be solved by an algorithm.
Dominoes can be used for more elaborate art projects as well, from straight lines that form pictures to curved or 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Regardless of the type of dominoes or the design, a good starting point is to plan out a layout on paper. This will help you determine how many dominoes you’ll need and the best way to lay them out.
When creating a domino art installation, it is important to start with the main domino—the one that will serve as the foundation for the rest of the structure. This domino will receive full attention until it is completely laid. After the domino is in place, you can begin to add additional pieces to make the finished piece more interesting.
Hevesh has created a few mind-blowing domino installations. To create them, she follows a version of the engineering-design process. She considers the theme or purpose of the project and brainstorms images or words she might want to incorporate. She then makes a prototype of each section of the design to ensure that it works.
Once the prototype is tested, Hevesh begins assembling the larger sections. She carefully checks that each domino fits together and matches up with the other sections, and she takes special care when putting together large 3-D designs.
As a piece of domino is positioned, it may be necessary to move other pieces aside to allow the new one to fit. For this reason, it is important to play on a hard surface. It is also helpful to mark the area with a chalk or dry erase board, so players can easily see which space they need to clear.
A ‘domino’ in its modern sense probably first appeared in the mid-18th century. Earlier, it denoted a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade. The term may have been derived from the French word douminoire, which refers to a priest’s cape over his surplice.