The competition tasks entrants with building their own metaverse focused around one or more of three themes: spaces to gather, spaces to display and spaces to perform.
Previous virtual worlds uploaded to Mona's 3D NFT art gallery include a Greco-Roman-themed pavilion in the clouds and a Blade Runner-style neon city.
Mona hopes the event will prompt more designers to create interactive and social 3D environments for the metaverse, an emerging digital universe that exists in parallel to the real world.
"Humanity may soon spend more time in virtual worlds than in the physical world," said Matt Hoerl, COO and co-founder of Mona. "It is important that these virtual spaces are beautiful and habitable for all."
The spaces to gather category invites participants to create places intended for meeting and sharing ideas, while the spaces to display theme asks for areas for presenting artworks.
The third and final category called spaces to perform tasks entrants with designing an events space for live performances.
Designers can make their virtual worlds using whatever 3D modelling software they have, such as Rhino, Blender or Gravity Sketch. Their work will then be imported into Unity using Mona's Unity Template.
Final submissions must be made in the form of "unity packages" that can be easily exported and published to the Metaverse using Mona's online portal.
Entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts, including Juan Benet, CEO of open-source research and development lab, Protocol Labs.
"Our judging will be centered around the utility of spaces, but the aesthetic interpretation is where you can let your imagination run free," explained the organisers.
All entries must be submitted by midnight (PST) on 27 January 2022. Winners of the Renaissance competition will be announced and published in February 2022.
The top 18 virtual space designs will be minted as Non-Fungible-Tokens (NFTs) on the blockchain and bid on by Protocol Labs for three different prize amounts.
There are three grand prize amounts of $30,000, five top prizes of $10,000, and a further ten design prizes of $3,000.
There are also 20 creator prizes up for grabs at $1,000 each and 100 submission prizes of $300. An additional $30,000 in community bonus prizes will be awarded.
All of the virtual worlds submitted to the competition can be minted and thus owned by their creator, regardless of whether they win one of the prizes or not.
Entrants must be over 18, but can come from any professional background and from any country across the globe.
For more information on the competition and how to enter, or to view some exemplar virtual worlds, visit Mona's dedicated Renaissance website.
Additionally, any questions about the build-a-thon can be asked via Mona's Discord messaging platform.
This article was written by Dezeen for Mona as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.