The Poiesis Experience:
European Hematology Association Congress 2023

Kartos Therapeutics and Telios Pharma


Can an avant-garde “un-booth” attract interest and educate attendees?

Pushing the limits of a traditional medical conference booth, we co-created a distinctive experience that unites a visually compelling environment with vivid science storytelling.


The vision for the Poiesis Experience came from Wayne Rothbaum, the Executive Chairman of Kartos Therapeutics and Telios Pharma. In 2015, he approached Cognition to develop a unique booth for Acerta Pharma that channeled the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was an unconventional booth experience that stood out at that conference.

To introduce Kartos Therapeutics and Telios Pharma at the European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress 2023, we focused on the theme of “poiesis,” a bringing-forth or emergence. Our goals were to demonstrate how Kartos and Telios are unraveling the mysteries of cancer biology and emphasize the relationship between human biology and the broader cosmos design.

The solution

The EHA Congress, a highly anticipated event, brings together a diverse group of professionals and patients from across Europe. It’s a platform where doctors, researchers, patients, advocacy groups, geneticists, and nurses gather to share knowledge and discuss the latest advances in diagnosing and treating hematological diseases. The attendees eagerly anticipate learning about highly anticipated clinical and translational research data, innovative techniques, diagnostic tools, and risk-assessment strategies. Our client’s aim was to create a buzz and generate interest among this audience, while also translating complex science into punchy narratives to educate and inform.

To achieve this outcome, we collaborated with the client and our partners at the Taylor Group to create a large China White cube with videos on each side that appeared to float above an animated digital floor, along with an iPad presentation, social media campaign, and several conference posters and oral presentations. The Cognition team contributed brilliant scientific storytelling to explain complex science, imprint value, and advance understanding. The Taylor Group contributed exemplary booth strategy, design, digital tech implementation, fabrication, drayage, installation, onsite support, and deconstruction.

The impact

The Poiesis Experience at EHA 2023 was a debut celebration for Kartos Therapeutics and Telios Pharma. This “un-booth” achieved its goals as an unorthodox and experimental experience that made a splash in the hematology community.


Rx Club Awards of Excellence, Kartos Therapeutics – Navtemadlin MOA Animation – EHA 2023, Telios Pharma – TL-895 MOA Animation – EHA 2023 / MUSE Advertising Awards: Awarded Gold for the Kartos/Telios Poiesis Campaign

  • Rx Club Awards of Excellence, Kartos Therapeutics

    Rx Club Awards of Excellence, Kartos Therapeutics
  • MUSE Advertising Awards

    MUSE Advertising Awards

The Cube

The primary feature of the booth was what we fondly called “The Cube.” This 13-foot-tall seemingly sentient entity consisted of four circular portals presenting a custom animation on each of its sides. The Cube’s mission was to translate complexity into clarity.

Two of The Cube’s videos presented mechanisms of action (i.e., each company’s novel approach to cancer biology). These five-minute animations connected the themes of the cosmos and human biology by beginning in a swirling galaxy and the Cancer constellation before introducing each key biological player, diving into the cellular and molecular environment to tell their stories, and finally, returning to the constellation and galaxy. The other two videos presented the details of each company’s mission, vision, clinical development pipeline, and clinical trials in a six-minute animation.

The floor

The Cube appeared to float above a digital floor with a five-minute, looping metaphorical video. The floor animation began with a tranquil, watery surface symbolizing healthy cells. The water started getting darker and more turbulent, symbolizing the healthy cells turning cancerous. Then, a blue and cyan glow began to emerge from beneath The Cube. The blue and cyan glowing particles represented Kartos’ and Telios’ novel potential therapies. The particles burst outward into a concentric pulse that calmed the waters, returning to the original tranquil surface. The floor animation also included a musical underscore and sound effects, adding an elevated atmosphere to the experience.

The build

The Taylor Group’s booth design, engineering, and construction were massive undertakings crucial to this project’s success. Their work culminated in the 13-foot-tall Cube made of steel and aluminum, with 10-foot-tall glassed-in LED digital portals. The Cube weighed an astounding 30,000 pounds and “floated” above a 30 x 62-foot digital floor.

The iPad show

The iPad show presentation facilitated interactions between the Medical Affairs team and interested attendees. Most of the content in the iPad show presentation came from the clinical development pipeline animation with an added sidebar for nonlinear navigation. This approach allowed the Medical Affairs team to start at the home screen, dive into either Kartos or Telios and then use the navigation system to jump around as needed instead of linearly progressing through the story. Lastly, the Medical Affairs team could touch the hero molecule and jump to a slide with a QR code to share additional information.

Client Testimonial

[We] aspire to transcend biology by creating something miraculous out of nothing for cancer patients, a poietic approach to unraveling the mysteries of cancer biology through a machine-based understanding of the human body, its parts, its functions, and its relationship to the broader design of the cosmos itself.

Wayne Rothbaum , Executive Chairman of Kartos Therapeutics and Telios Pharma