Pictorial symbols capture our imagination. A visual vocabulary - that anyone from any culture, any country, and in any context of life can understand - is a very interesting research challenge. The collections of visual symbols usually are context-specific, and include symbols and signs for example at airports, in hotels, in traffic and in maps. Our ongoing research work is related to pictorial symbols in our living environments. These symbols symbolize our living environments and guide us in different situations. Here we introduce our idea of intelligent icons and their functions. We also give some examples of their applications. We review spatial relations as an interesting approach to (a) icon recognition and (b) to illustrate the situation-specific relation between the user and the icon in question. The design principles and the basic model of the system architecture of our I-Icon system are described. We also present an example of intelligent icon implementation.