How Do Domino Installations Work?

A domino is a small rectangular block, often of wood or plastic, that has either a blank face or one to six dots resembling those on dice. A complete set contains 28 such blocks. Dominos are used to play several games, and they are also popular as a table decoration or as toys for children. They are sometimes referred to as bones, men, or pieces, and are typically used in conjunction with other dominoes to form an elaborate pattern.

Some of the most impressive domino constructions are built and toppled in spectacular shows, where builders compete for the best “domino effect” before a live audience of fans. But to pull off such feats requires not only skill and creativity, but also the careful application of some basic principles of science.

A key is the concept of energy, which governs the movement and potential toppling of a domino. The fact is that each domino has its own unique energy, based on its position in a layout and the way it is linked to other dominoes. Essentially, each domino has potential energy (stored energy based on its position), which converts to kinetic energy when it falls. Some of this kinetic energy is transferred to the next domino, giving it the push it needs to topple. Energy is then transmitted from domino to domino in a chain reaction until the last domino is knocked over.

To create a domino setup, Hevesh starts by considering the theme or purpose of an installation. Then, she brainstorms images and words that might relate to those concepts. She also considers the physical phenomenon of gravity, which she describes as the main factor in her mind-blowing creations. Gravity is what causes a domino to fall, and it is the force that makes her installations work.

Hevesh’s approach to her art is similar to the engineering-design process used by industrial engineers. She starts by considering the goal of an installation, and then brainstorms ideas that might relate to that theme. She also considers the physical characteristics of a domino, such as its weight and how it can be moved or positioned. She then follows a version of the engineering-design process to create an intricate design. She has even made a domino model of a stadium to help her envision how the stadium can be used for concerts and other events. This model helped her and the company plan for the future when they were preparing to move from their current headquarters in the Detroit area. The company was losing customers and needed to change in order to survive. To make this happen, they stayed true to their core values, including “Champion Our Employees.” By listening to employees, the company was able to turn things around quickly. The result was that the once-bankrupt Domino’s re-established itself as one of the leading pizza delivery companies in the United States.