How much of architecture design is reusing old design patterns instead of creating new ones?

I'm not an architect, I'm not studying it either. I'm a developer but I appreciate design and industrial design. In my line of work it's the standard to not re-invet the wheel, and use what's already out there and build upon it. It's to a point where some people can literally copy and paste some tools together and whip up a hot new app that works and sometimes grows into being a multi-million dollar thing.

I'm wondering how this relates to your line of work. Is it respected to use solutions other architects have used? And if so, how easy is it to "copy and paste," if you will, an old solution into a new building.

Larry Scarpa's avatar image.

It is a complex profession and most architects find inspiration in other architects work. There are some "copy and paste" architects but most see it as an opportunity to do better. What makes architects a little different is that they can look at something that is not a building or and idea about building from hundreds or thousands of years ago and transform those ideas into something useful today.