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"I think we're still on that topic, still trying to figure out what computers are, how they change us, why we use them."
- Neal Stephenson

Adjustable House  
  A house with elastic walls and structural members, the shape of which can be changed.  

Then the door opened wide of its own accord and they all sprawled backward in the smoking weeds. The young priest who had been trapped sprang up and darted into the house before the others could stop him. The door clenched shut behind him.

The house began to shake.

Its slack walls tightened, bulged, were crossed by ripples and waves of movement. Its windows all squeezed shut. One wall stretched perceptibly, another contracted. There were other distortions.

An upper window dilated and through it the young priest was ejected, as if the house had tasted him and then spat him out...

Somewhere he had read of the adjustable houses of the Golden Age, with elastic walls made tense by force fields, akin in structure and motivation to the mobile figure of the Great God on the Cathedral.

But the idea did not appeal to Brother Chulian. To a considerable degree he shared the commoners’ fear and awe of the Golden Age and its proud inhabitants. They must have been as unpredictable and self-willed as their houses...

From Gather, Darkness!, by Fritz Leiber.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1943
Additional resources -

The adjustable house, in this case a "haunted" house, operated by remote control:

. See, that top bank controlled the walls; the next one below it, floors and ceilings. You mightn’t believe me if I told you how many hours of practice I put in before I developed the technique required for such stunts as bouncing that first chap upstairs and out again. Quite a problem in timing.

“Third bank—windows and doors. Fourth—ventilators, and such furniture as we decided to animate. Including Brother Chulian’s over-affectionate couch.” He patted a half dozen keys tenderly.

“Tell me,” asked Sharlson Naurya, leaning forward curiously, “did the people of the Golden Age usually have houses that played such tricks?”

“Asmodeus, no! They were just a fad, I imagine, and a very expensive one. The idea was to have a house whose shape you could change to suit your fancy. Say you had a big crowd in for a party and needed a larger ballroom. You just activated the proper controls and—presto!—the walls would recede. And why not make it an oval or octagonal room while you were at it? Just as easy!”

He laughed happily.

“Of course, it all worked in slow motion. But when our investigations showed that the old equipment was still pretty much in order, it was very simple to shove in more power and speed up the tempo, so that the old place could dance a jig if we wanted it to. Then we hitched up our remote controls, and there we were!”

Compare to the psychotropic house from The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista (1962) by J.G. Ballard.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Gather, Darkness!
  More Ideas and Technology by Fritz Leiber
  Tech news articles related to Gather, Darkness!
  Tech news articles related to works by Fritz Leiber

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  - Robotic Ecologies Shape Themselves To Serve You

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