During a research project, the stage director Isis Fahmy and designers Laura Couto Rosado and Benoît Renaudin joined forces to assess the concept of performative objects. This notion, which they invented, covers objects that set a story in motion but which are above all fictions in themselves, specifically imagined for on-set action and actively evolving in the same way as the actors during their performance. At the time of this research – a joint project by the HEAD–Genève and the Manufacture in Lausanne – Couto Rosado, Fahmy and Renaudin invented three practical capsules to explore points of convergence between the design and theatre practices and to consider our relationship to the other, be it machine, material or a living being. Interviews were also conducted with the German designer Judith Seng, and with the French stage director Halory Goerger. This article summarises different moments in the research process by combining various formats, such as theoretical text, video footage, the design of performative objects, captioned photographs and interviews.