Space frame trellis design and construction, which is essentially spatial model building on a bigger scale, is an excellent vehicle for structural explorations that can be applied to numerous structural design problems, on many different scales. For the structural maquettes I use paper straws and for the connectors short lengths (30mm) pipe cleaners. You can make a many-way joint (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 etc).
For example, in case of a three-way joint you will need three short lengths of pipe cleaners.. Two go into each end of the straws, thus forming a universal joint.
Explorations in geometry based on the polyhedral approach are the stuff of creativity.
A famous Chinese proverb says:
I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, and I understand.