How can we transform the space of the campus, which mimics the space of the defensive camp of the Roman army, both of which are traversed by the usual paths, and divided up into juxtaposed cohorts or lawns? (Serres, 2015: 38)
One feature of many heterotopias is the forming of a centre of concentration and order – prisons, schools, libraries, gardens of antiquity and cemeteries, for instance, focus and regulate people, children, books, symbols, bodies.
Michel Serres’ mischievous account – Thumbelina – of the impact of digital technology on traditional institutions evokes the thought that the availability of the Internet, for example, might dismantle many heterotopic concentrations and open up the possibility of a new space. Serres refers in particular to schools, universities, hospitals and libraries. Some of the socio-cultural heterotopias mentioned in Foucault’s talk are potentially breaking up through a process of disordering and disruption reminiscent perhaps of Foucault’s first Borges-inspired rendition of heterotopia in the preface to ‘The Order of Things’. Here is Serres:
A school, a classroom and a lecture hall are concentrations of people, students and professors; a library is a concentration of books; a laboratory is a concentration of instruments. But now, this knowledge – these reference works, these texts, these dictionaries, and even observatories! – are distributed everywhere. …(12)
The ‘old space of concentrations’ is ‘diluted and expanded’. The labyrinth of the Internet introduces the possibility of play that defies classifications and compartmentalisations. For Serres – in contrast to those who focus on the control and governmentality of say digital codes and protocols- the digital can encourage inventiveness, a crossing of borders.
Foucault, M. (1970)  The Order of Things, Andover, Hants: Tavistock.
Serres, M. (2015) Thumbelina: The Culture and Technology of Millennials. London: Rowman & Littlefield.