The Domino Effect


Dominos are small rectangular blocks of wood or plastic, often painted, with blank sides and ends marked with dots resembling those on dice. They can be used to play a variety of games. They are often stacked on end to form long chains, and when one domino is knocked over it can cause the others to tip over, in a chain reaction called the domino effect. This gives rise to the saying, “A domino effect.” In business, a company’s growth can be described as a series of domino effects that lead to success.

Hevesh’s work is often influenced by this idea, in which she creates the foundation for her work with simple pieces that are easily replicated and augmented to make larger installations. The most basic Domino installation requires only two players and a set of 28 dominoes. Most domino game rules are designed for this standard double-6 set, but many newer domino sets are based on the double-9, double-12, and double-15 sets, which have more pips.

The oldest known dominoes date from the 1300s and were made of bone or ivory. Today’s dominoes are typically made of plastic or cardboard, but they can also be carved from wood. They can be colored or left blank, but the most common are tan with either a white or black side. The blank side is usually designated as “wild,” and the other sides are labeled with a number of spots—one through six—that correspond to the results of throwing a die.

Each domino has a particular value when paired with another, and each player attempts to match up his or her tiles in order to create long chains that increase in length. Most players start the game with a hand of seven tiles. When a hand runs out, the player who has the most spots wins.

Besides being used to play games, dominoes can be arranged in creative ways for decoration or as art objects. They can be arranged to represent geometric patterns, or they can be used to illustrate events in history or fictional stories. In fiction, a scene domino is a point that triggers an action or event in a story and influences the subsequent scenes. In nonfiction, it could be a statistic or data point that leads to an argument.

In the early days of Domino’s, the company focused on building its brand through word-of-mouth marketing and by setting up temporary pizza stands in college towns. In 1967, Domino’s founder Frank Monaghan opened the first official franchise location in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The success of this initial store prompted Monaghan to open more locations near university campuses. He believed that Domino’s could attract a younger audience that would prefer to eat fast, quality pizza.

Both the word and the game have an etymology rooted in the Italian noun domino, meaning “a cape worn with a mask at a carnival or masquerade.” In English, the word appeared in print around 1750, and it was influenced by French, where it had earlier denoted a hooded cloak worn by a priest over a surplice.