Botond Részegh and Albert-László Barabási share a singular history. Both were born in a small village near Csíkszereda, in Transylvannia, as part of the Hungarian minority in Romania. They lived through an oppressing dictatorship, through hardship and scarcity.

Their journeys, though, have been quite different. Barabási became a world-renowned scientist and distiguished professor of international acclaim who lectures around the globe and sat on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum. Részegh stayed in his village; he’s a quiet man who feels most comfortable in the intimacy of small crowds, or in the privacy of his studio.

But they seem to have a common essence: Barabási’s science is intrepid and visionary, and Részegh’s art is emotional and tempestuous. A common love for literature brought them together. They were introduced by the great poet Sándor Kányádi and together birthed a book, Bursts, written by Barabási and illustrated by Részegh.

Since then they have developed a friendship, on which they had the opportunity to reminisce as they sat together for a conversation on Friday, Feb. 28 at Northeastern University’s Visitor Center moderated by associate professor of graphic design, Isabel Meirelles. Through Meirelles’ direction and their dialogue with the audience, the duo explored the different roads they traveled, and to find where they meet.

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