This doesn't quite qualify as a brief encounter yet, as I have not met Richard Jones (http://www.softmachines.org/). However, we were supposed to meet on Monday at a project meeting in Edinburgh, which is part of the NanoBio-RAISE meeting. So, anticipating this eventual encounter, I am drawn to noting this as a coincidence entry, for the following reasons. 1. Richard Jones is based in the University of Sheffield, where my sister currently lives. She mentioned the other day that there is a big nanotech institute there and she was referring to Richard's work.
2. Our meeting in Edinburgh was supposed to include Richard, though he could not make it. I think he will present at the next of these meetings.
3. I have been involved with work at the Royal College of Art these last months and one of its designers has created a project based upon ideas within Richard's book 'Soft Machines'. (http://www.interaction.rca.ac.uk/people/alumni/05-07/michael-burton/projects/project2/videos/video1)