Lots of learning went down this week:
If you can diagram a problem, you understand it enough to begin an attempt at resolution.
The design process is like a math problem; record every step you take so you can check your work. If you make a design move without supporting sketches or writing, you have no hard record of your project. Without that recording, understanding exactly why something didn't work is impossible; if it goes well, you lack sufficient evidence to explain the solution.
Throwing some pasta water in your pasta sauce makes the whole dish more delicious.
As for the ongoing project, I've begun to model. To understand the assigned problem, I made sketches and diagrams of my construction methods and wrote about what I was doing. Once I had developed a clear set of rules, I started to build. The new series exhibits a much clearer process and logic.
(click to enlarge)
Still a few more models to build, and drawings to edit.