The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the deep cracks of inequality within the South African educational system (Gustafsson & Deliwe, 2020). The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) has presented a range of new technology applications (Lacy, Long, & Spindler, 2020). These technologies can be leveraged to provide more equal access to the technology needed for remote learning (Du Preez & Sinha, 2020). This paper uses a systemic design approach to reflect on the challenges faced in design education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Student feedback on the online learning experience during the COVID-19 lockdown was reflected on. Observations were organised in themes and then explored using the first step of Namahn and shiftN’s Systemic Design Toolkit (Van Ael & Vandenbroeck, 2016).