The Art of Dominoes


The term domino is used to describe a small, flat rectangular block with markings on one side that can be arranged in a variety of ways to create an array of gaming devices. Dominoes, cousins of playing cards and dice, are popular for games ranging from professional domino game competition to setting up a series and then knocking them over to test patience and skill.

A domino set may be made of a range of materials including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white dots or pips (inlaid or painted). In addition to the common wood-based polymer sets, some dominoes are made of other more novel materials such as terra cotta, crystal clay or marble and granite.

When a domino is tipped over it triggers a chain reaction. The speed at which the first domino falls depends on its size and a number of other factors, such as the friction between the tops and bottoms of the domino, the force applied to the triggering domino and the overall speed of the chain. Dominoes can be set up on many different surfaces, from smooth floor tiles to sandpaper or cork board. The simplest set starts with a single large domino and each player takes turns placing a smaller, sleeping domino on top of it. When the stack reaches the end, players pass if they cannot take another turn.

Hevesh began playing with dominoes as a child, fascinated by how to arrange the little pieces in straight and curved lines, then flicking them over and watching the whole line fall. Her hobby blossomed into a career, and Hevesh now creates spectacular domino installations for movies, TV shows and events, as well as her YouTube channel, Hevesh5.

She tests each piece of a set before it is put together. She also uses slow-motion videos of her work to catch the slightest errors and fine-tune the final product. She’s never sure what will happen until it happens, but her process ensures that everything is done correctly.

Hevesh explains that the most important task of each day is to pick a single, critical task and focus on it until it’s completed. This is the “main domino” that will set the course for success for the rest of the day. Then she prioritizes the remaining tasks, and if they are of equal importance, she ranks them according to their impact. She then completes the most impactful ones first, and this allows her to achieve success in a balanced way. The result is that she can work on all the things that matter to her, and still have time to do them well. This is a lesson for business leaders of any type, and it applies to creative endeavors like writing a novel. If every plot beat in a story is viewed as a domino, the result can be a powerful and exciting sequence of events that keeps readers engaged.