Brick construction has actually changed a great deal over the course of centuries. Before wood and steel became the primary structural elements, brick/masonry was used because it was the material most readily available. Today, with advancements in steel and wood construction, brick is being used more as an aesthetic veneer versus a structural material.
There have also been some great strides as to the composition of the brick itself, producing some awesome colors and sheens.
Also, now that brick is no longer the primary structural element, architects and masons have been able to create some really unique and daring designs pushing the boundaries of brick to levels that were previously thought impossible.