The purpose of this paper is to understand the role of objects in interactive innovation, i.e. interaction for innovation among core inside innovators, peripheral inside innovators and outside innovators. Going beyond the predominant usage of ‘boundary objects’ we argue that a pluralistic approach of objects is needed to better understand and trace the different – and shifting – roles that objects play in interactive innovation. To do so, we develop a framework of the role of objects in interactive innovation. This framework is applied while designing the “IP Industry Base” (IPIB) project for interactive innovation. The IPIB is an innovative analytical database in the field of competitive intelligence (CI). From the lessons learned in this project, we discuss what needs to be considered for the conscious development of objects to foster interactive innovation in the context of highly innovative software development projects.