This paper analyzes fragments from a video re-cord¬ing of a research workshop, in which researchers were studying a video of an innovation work-shop. The researchers not only watched the video but also used the same object as the people in the innovation workshop, a wooden toy train set. The researchers were supposed to make observations and, simultaneously, build the same structure with the toys as they saw on the video. Research in the field of participatory innovation has suggested that the use of objects may facilitate emotional reactions and that these may enhance participation and collaboration. A special case of this is when objects behave in unpredictable ways, leading workshop participants to express their surprise, which, reportedly, invariably provokes joint participation. Using a conversation analytic approach, I examine cases where participants in the research workshop express emotions and surprise, in order to see how this affects participation. The analyses confirm that objects provoke emotional reactions, but that this does not necessarily lead to enhanced participation or joint sense making.
Proceedings of the Participatory Innovation Conference: 18-20 June 2013 Lahti, Finland, 2013, p. 134-138