Dominoes Aren’t Just For Game Anymore


The word domino is used to describe a game played with a set of flat tiles with one side bearing an arrangement of dots, or pips, like those on a die. These pips are grouped into rows, with six at the highest end and a single domino having no spots (called a blank). Most modern sets of dominoes contain 28 unique pieces for all possible combinations of ends with zero to six pips. Some larger sets include more pips for greater variation, though the maximum amount is not usually used in games.

Dominoes can be used for a variety of games, including the scoring game fives and threes in which one score is awarded every time the sum of the pips on the end of a domino matches one of the numbers. Dominoes can also be used to create art: straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or even 3D structures like towers and pyramids. To make domino art, a person first draws or writes out the design for how they want the dominoes to fall and then calculates how many will be needed for that layout.

Then the artist carefully places the tiles on a flat surface, and when ready they can start the domino effect by flicking the first domino to tip over. The momentum of the falling pieces triggers a chain reaction, as each domino lands on its neighbors, causing them to topple too. Dominos can be arranged in a number of ways, with straight or curved lines, in grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, and even 3D structures like towers and pyramids.

In her YouTube videos, domino artist Lily Hevesh shows off the impressive ways she can use the tiles to build a track that leads to a dramatic domino finale. Hevesh begins each design with a drawing and then tests out a small version of the layout to see how the pieces work together. Once she’s satisfied that the small domino layout works, she can begin putting the bigger pieces in place.

Hevesh’s creative domino designs are often inspired by movies, TV shows, and events—as well as the company itself. Domino’s CEO, Patrick Doyle, has a long history of embracing change, from opening the first Domino’s in Italy to working with crowd-sourced auto designers to create a pizza-delivery car that has been described as “a cheese lover’s Batmobile.” Each of these projects reflects an attempt to shake up the status quo and keep things fresh for customers.