In 1985, Professor Donna Cox began organizing “Renaissance Teams” at the NCSA-UIUC.  She coined the term “Renaissance Teams” to describe multidisciplinary teams of experts focused on solving visualization problems and provided a guidelines for successful collaborations. These guidelines (summarized below) remain relevant to current discussions about synergy among creative practice, collaboration, education, and IT.

A Renaissance Team is a group of interdisciplinary specialists who interact to enlarge the problem-solution domain and provide technical, analytic, and visual synergism in the quest for knowledge and information discovery. Teamwork requires a non-trivial psycho-strategy. Here are some codes of behavior for successful teams.

  1. There must be a common, passionate goal for the team members
  2. Members must have mutual respect for each other member and his/her discipline
  3. Each member must be willing to learn from other members of the team
  4. Each member must recognize other’s intellectual territory
  5. The team should not have too many members
  6. The team must continually check to make sure that the research is making progress
  7. Members must not become over-committed to other projects
  8. One person must carry the flag for project as a champion and coordinate efforts
  9. Each member must be credited and given his/her recognition when the project is presented or publicized
  10. Each member must get something out of the project which is personally rewarding and tangible

Donna Cox and her Advanced Visualization Lab team have collaborated with scientists, engineers, and technologists to create new technologies and visualization products. Renaissance Teams include many skills of the artist: production, direction, design, color, and editing. In many cases, the artist leads the technology or innovation.