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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Plastex  
  A combination of plaster and latex, it allows houses to change shape for you.  

The psychotropic houses of Vermillion Sands were able to mirror the feelings of their owners. They could also change shape as required.

It was a beautiful room all right, with opaque plastex walls and white fluo-glass ceiling, but something terrible had happened there. As it responded to me, the ceiling lifting slightly and the walls growing less opaque, reflecting my perspective-seeking eye, I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily. Deep hidden rifts began to distort the sphere, ballooning out one of the alcoves like a bubble of overextended gum.

"Lively responses, aren't they, Mr. Talbot?" He put his hand on the wall behind us. The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste, then extruded itself into a small ledge. Stamers sat down on the lip, which quickly expanded to match the contours of his body, providing back and arm rests.

'Of course, you're getting nothing but custom-built units here,' Stamers said. 'The vinyl chains in this plastex were hand-crafted literally molecule by molecule.'

From The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista, by J.G. Ballard.
Published by Amazing Fact and Science Fiction in 1962
Additional resources -

Compare to the memory plastic from Larry Niven's 1969 story Death by Ecstasy.

The house trees of Jack Vance's 1964 novel The Houses of Iszm also tailored themselves to owners, if more slowly. Contrast plastex, which does what you want, to the Bambakias hotel of Bruce Sterling's 1998 novel Distraction, which actually tells you what to do, construction-wise.

I don't know if Ballard knowingly reused the word "plastex" or not. The word was trademarked in the 1930's by a toy company; it is used in reference to a bouncy kind of plastic.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista
  More Ideas and Technology by J.G. Ballard
  Tech news articles related to The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista
  Tech news articles related to works by J.G. Ballard

Plastex-related news articles:
  - HypoSurface Walls Are Full Of Life
  - Touchy Feely Trigger Point Mouldings
  - Self-Healing Concrete Uses Bacteria For Healing
  - 'Supra B 'Toys Soon Self-Healing
  - Self-Healing Batteries
  - Outdoor Testing For Self-Healing Concrete

Articles related to Lifestyle
Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
The Ring Clock IS Heinlein's Finger Watch
3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
ThreeForm 3D Scans And Digitally Simulates Customer Fashion

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