Design patterns have a rich and interesting history. From their origin as tools for helping to describe how to build the structures to allow people to live together, they have grown to be applicable to a number of domains.
It has now been a decade since the seminal work on applying design patterns to programming. Since then a vast number of new patterns have been developed. Some of these patterns are general-purpose patterns such as those outlined in the GoF book, but a larger number are very specific patterns that are designed for use in a narrow domain.
If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants.
Patterns give us easily accessible shoulders on which to stand.