When we first initiated a call for this issue on design education, never could we have imagined or foreseen what lay ahead. Since late 2019, Hong Kong has gone through an enormously difficult time. First, spikes of social unrest, rapidly followed by COVID-19. Half of the first semester of the 2019–2020 academic year, as skirmishes closed in on The Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus, all courses had to move over to available and often misunderstood online platforms. As the situation finally subsided, the virus emerged, impacting the commencement of the second semester, and the overall delivery modes of a structured curriculum for an entire year.